February 7, 20220

What I Learned From the Guided Pathways IDEAL Fellowship and Equity on Campus

By Toby Chen

Between the 1950s and 1970s, my grandfather was a physician treating patients in rural Taiwan. For many of his patients, it was their first time seeing a doctor.

His story is part of what inspired me to not only pursue a career in medicine, but to strive to reach traditionally underserved communities.

As I’m pursuing medicine, I’ve learned that the medical field, like many others, is not immune to implicit bias or unequitable practices.

So when I joined the Guided Pathways IDEAL Fellowship, I was excited to collaborate with other students to strategize about how to make our campus more equitable.

Watch Toby Chen Learns and Leads on Campus through the Guided Pathways IDEAL Fellowship

As a pre-med student, I know that you can’t begin to treat a patient until you have completed a proper evaluation. So that’s what our group set out to do – thinking of our community as our patient, we wanted to evaluate our campus and propose actions that would be minimally invasive while providing maximum positive impact.

We quickly discovered that North Seattle College already had an incredible resource – the Equity and Welcome Center – which offers students financial assistance, access to food, a space to decompress and connect with other students all in effort to end racial and other equity gaps on campus.

The only problem? Not many students knew about it.

To change that, we proposed that information about the Center be added to the course syllabus for all classes. That way all students at North Seattle College would learn about the Center – whether they took one class or a dozen.

Participating in the Fellowship was a powerful and meaningful experience for me, and now, as I move into the medical field, with my experiences in the IDEAL Fellowship and my grandfather as a continued inspiration, I’m eager to do what I can to make healthcare more equitable and less discriminatory.

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