Anthony Phan Workshop Presenter

Anthony Phan

My name is Anthony Phan and I am currently a 3rd year medical student at Michigan State University College of Human Medicine. During my undergraduate years at the University of Michigan, I was heavily involved in the sciences and research. After failing to be accepted into medical school during my first round of applications, I decided to reevaluate and reflect on my motivations and decided to take a turn in an unexpected direction and worked with City Year in the South Side of Chicago where I mentored a group of 8th graders – this detour in my professional & personal goals was the best thing that has happened to me in hindsight. As a first generation college student, raised by immigrant parents from Vietnam, my hope is to reach out and mentor the younger generations in their challenges and help them achieve their endeavors whether that be related to medicine or not.

“Fail or Fail Not. There is No Try.”

Failure is often a taboo subject, often given a misleading negative connotation. This is especially true for the Asian American generation, whose tiger parents often have high expectations with little room for acceptance of failures. Ultimately this suffocating pressure can lead to perfection paralysis and crush potential creativity in future generations. My motivation for this workshop is to create a space where we can learn to celebrate failures rather than hide them. Growing up, my successes were always highlighted leaving little room to reflect on failures. This bred an unhealthy mentality – So when I had encountered my first “failure”, I was devastated and at loss for how to deal with this and move forward. I hope to change the conventional perspective our society has on failures and celebrate these learning opportunities instead.

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