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Medical Student and Entrepreneur: One and the Same
By Shannon Williams
The current medical school student life has changed drastically over the years with new curriculum, ways of teaching, and student life. MD-PhD student, Joshua Y. Yang, Class of 2020, has noticed the transitions in health care, and has merged his talents of entrepreneurship with his medical studies.
“As a medical student, it is no longer enough to just learn and remember the textbook answers to past problems. In fact, with the continuing exponential growth of medical knowledge, it is impossible. Rather, what we must focus on is using the knowledge we do have to solve the current and upcoming medical problems. It is incumbent upon all of us, in this sense, to be an ‘entrepreneur.’ To me, being a medical student and an entrepreneur are one and the same,” said Yang.
Integrating both entrepreneur and medical student, Yang participated in the MedHacks 2.0 Hackathon, the second annual event hosted by Johns Hopkins University that mixes technology with solving health issues. Teams of students, doctors, hackers, and entrepreneurs across the county came together for 36 hours to solve medical issues.
Yang’s group tackled the issue of locating a patient who has dialed 911. The 911 system was designed for landline phones, but with 80% of 911 calls now cell-phone based, there are problems with finding the location of the caller. During MedHacks 2.0, Yang and his team found a solution to this critical medical issue. Out of 47 teams they won first place with a unanimous decision from the judges.
“Being an entrepreneur as a medical student comes with so many benefits. You take hold of your own education and create your own opportunities, synthesizing the knowledge you have with the problems you know exist in the world”.
In addition to his participation in MedHacks 2.0, Yang has also co-founded KIT: Kidney Injury Test, an exam that determines whether a transplanted kidney is undergoing injury.
“You find a medical problem that you’re passionate about and in trying to solve that problem you (hopefully) make a difference in the process. And through this, you find a whole entrepreneurial community on which to rely and with which to connect,” said Yang.