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Meet the Women in Medicine at GBMC: Theresa Nguyen, MD

September 22, 2022
Dr. Theresa Nguyen serves as GBMC’s interim Department Chair for Pediatrics. She has been a pediatrician at GBMC for 22 years with the GBMC Pediatric Group. She incorporates her traditional pediatric training with fellowship training in integrative medicine in her whole-person approach to healing, incorporating all aspects of lifestyle (mind-body-spirit, nutrition, sleep) in partnership with patients and families.

Dr. Nguyen graduated from Johns Hopkins University with a degree in biomedical engineering. She received her medical degree and master’s degree in health policy from New York University School of Medicine and New York University Wagner. She has worked both as a health policy analyst as well as a clinician.
Theresa Nguyen, MD, Pediatrician at GBMC
Theresa Nguyen, MD, Pediatrician at GBMC

Take yourself back. You got your acceptance letter to medical school. Where are you? How are you feeling? What are you most excited about?
Receiving several acceptances, I thought, “I have choices! Hooray!” I was feeling on top of the world, so excited about starting my journey to become a doctor, a passion, and very excited about moving back to NYC to attend school. I am a New York gal at heart. I loved life in NYC in my 20s!

What led you to a career in healthcare? What led you to your chosen discipline?
My maternal grandmother, an amazing woman who was so wise and resilient, was only allowed to finish elementary school in her youth. I adored my grandmother. She was my second mom growing up. I wanted to practice geriatrics initially, to care for the elderly who were so forgotten in our society. In medical school, I realized the difficulty of practicing preventive medicine in geriatrics, so I went full circle to pediatrics where preventive medicine is THE way forward.

Alongside caring for patients, what is one other thing you love about your role?
I am part of a child and family's growth and development journey. I love the connections and relationships I develop with these families over many years.

What informs your leadership style? What one skill would you recommend a future female leader in medicine cultivate?
Serving others. How can I help you develop into your best self? Fostering communication, relationships, curiosity, and growth mindset!

At GBMC, our vision is to take care of patients as if they were our own loved ones. Who are you picturing when you care for patients?
My grandmother!

What accomplishment are you most proud of in your professional career?
Initiating the GBMC Physician Wellness Committee.

What has helped you navigate challenges or barriers to achieving your success?
Flexibility, curiosity, empathy, patience, and an alignment of work with my passions.

What do you do to decompress?
Walk nature trails with my dog on weekends. Arrange flowers for our home weekly. Travel and eat with my family.

What do you think the future of medicine looks like for women?
Bright! There are many different paths to manifesting your dreams. It may take longer than your male counterparts because of the many roles women have at different stages of life, but it is totally achievable. Take one priority/focus at a time. Patience!

What does being a women in medicine mean to you?
Endless possibilities, professionally and personally. Think outside of the box. Keep learning and evolving. Align your work with your passion. Take risks, keeps life exciting. Never accept "no" for an answer. There is always an alternative. What legacy do you want to create for your life?
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