Arlene Phuong-Quynh Ho: At forefront of medical student philanthropy

Arlene Phuong-Quynh Ho

The AMA “Members Move Medicine” series profiles a wide variety of doctors, offering a glimpse into the passions of women and men navigating new courses in American medicine.

On the move with: Arlene Phuong-Quynh Ho, a second-year medical student at Western Michigan University Homer Stryker M.D. School of Medicine, in Kalamazoo.  

AMA member since: 2017.  

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What inspired me to pursue a career in medicine: My grandmother’s palliative care physicians and care team while she was fighting breast cancer were my biggest inspirations. Their empathy and passion for their work encouraged me to pursue medicine so that I could help people who are not able to help themselves. 

How I move medicine: As a medical student, it is hard to feel the impact that you as an individual can make, but being able to be part of a ripple of change and movement is how I move medicine. 

Career highlights: I was the class president of my medical school class for two years. 

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Advice I’d give to those interested in pursuing a career in medicine: Health care is a field in which you touch people’s lives deeply—everyone remembers how they were treated by a health care professional, and everyone remembers how the experience made them feel. I hope that those pursuing health care remember that their careers are not just about their own success, but about the success, healing and, consequently, livelihoods of their patients. 

How I give back to the community: I have been at the forefront of advocating for medical student philanthropy, particularly through interest groups and events encouraging monetary or in-kind donations to local community organizations and charities. I also hope to encourage patients and physicians to bring their time, talent and treasure to their local communities in the future. 


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Aspect of my work that means the most: Connecting with patients and families has meant the most to me so far, and I hope to keep that feeling with me throughout my career. 

My hope for the future of medicine: Health care equity and ease of access for all. 

Visit to learn more about other AMA members who are relentlessly moving medicine through advocacy, education, patient care and practice innovation, and join or renew today.