Annie Yang will graduate this May with both a Master of Science in Global Medicine and a Bachelor of Science in Health Promotion and Disease Prevention from the Keck School of Medicine of USC. Yang earned both degrees as part of USC’s progressive degree program, which allows qualified undergraduates to begin course work toward a master’s degree while still completing their undergraduate work. She feels extremely fortunate to have been able to pursue both degrees in four years, and found that the courses in each program complemented each other, and gave her a more informed perspective for her own career development.

“One of my favorite things about the Keck School is the opportunity to take a wide range of classes, allowing me to really explore my different interests. I truly believe that the knowledge I have gained in these two programs will impact and benefit me greatly in the future as a healthcare provider,” she said.

Though busy leading the Keck Student Ambassadors program for her undergraduate peers and spearheading community outreach efforts to grant local neighborhood students access to the realities of college, and a view of USC from the student perspective, Yang also was busy gaining exposure to the realities of clinical care. During her four years at USC, Yang worked part-time as a medical assistant at a worker’s compensation clinic in El Monte. These four years working alongside various health care professionals reaffirmed her desire to become a physician assistant (PA) and to help people’s experience with medicine and their own quality of life.

“Our clinic hires many PAs in order to meet the demand of our high case load and ensure patients are seen often. One such PA always provides high-quality care by addressing concerns patiently and meticulously, regardless of the condition of the patient she is treating. She is warm, personable, and has the most reassuring attitude towards her patients – traits I admired and could relate to. Her compassionate interactions with her patients and all those who worked at the clinic solidified my own desire to become a PA. It is a growing and magnetic community that I cannot wait to be a part of,” she said.

A Trojan through and through, Yang will be attending the Primary Care Physician Assistant Program at the Keck School this fall. She shared that she is excited to continue her studies at a university she already loves.

“I really look forward to becoming an advocate for the PA profession and for my future patients,” she said. “I hope to be working with the diverse patient population near USC. I cannot wait until the day I become a certified PA, competent and able to give back to a community that has already given me so much.”