PCOM Georgia faculty members describe Phung as representing what an osteopathic physician should be.
A quote from Winston Churchill has inspired Annie Phung, MS (DO ’21) since her days as a high school senior. “We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give.”
The quote exemplifies who Phung has worked to become during her college days at the University of California, Irvine, and her master’s program and the past three years as a student at PCOM Georgia.
Earlier this year, Phung was named the 2020 PCOM Georgia Student DO of the Year by a committee made up of students and faculty members. Having served in many leadership roles, including DO Council president, Council of Student Government Presidents legislative affairs representative, and as an appointed student member of the American Osteopathic Association’s Bureau of Emerging Leaders, Phung said she learned early on from her high school Key Club advisor to be a servant leader.
Ms. Claudia Parras, who passed away last year “taught me that a servant leader is one who listens carefully, eats last consistently, promotes others daily, encourages action kindly, becomes involved selflessly, and pays it forward naturally,” Phung said.
“I believe she taught me more than just leadership and service, but also about becoming an active member of the community at large,” she said. “Altruism was the core of her persona and has become one of mine as well.”
Eric Malaney, PCOM Georgia Class of 2022 chair and the 2020 Student DO of the Year coordinator, said Phung was nominated by her peers and “stood out even among the very best our school has to offer. Miss Phung has a wealth of leadership, professional involvement, research experience and an essay which blew us away.”
“It should be noted that Annie Phung’s involvement is not only both extensive and deep, but distinctly osteopathic,” he added.
H. William Craver III, DO, former PCOM Georgia dean who now serves as the dean and chief academic officer of PCOM South Georgia, said, “Annie has been a strong presence at PCOM Georgia since her first day. She is driven to succeed, whether for self, the students she represents or her profession. I expect to continue to hear many accolades as she progresses through her career.“
Phung has attended numerous national meetings, participated in many presentations and osteopathic activities including DO Day on the Hill, has served on the Council of Osteopathic Student Government Presidents Council and on American Osteopathic Association task forces, and was initiated into Omega Beta Iota, the osteopathic political honor society. In addition, she was a Medical Association of Georgia LEADS Scholar.
PCOM Georgia Interim Dean and Chief Academic Officer Joseph Kaczmarczyk, DO, recalls that he met student doctor Phung at a national meeting where, he said, “she stood out among all of the student leaders and distinguished herself by already epitomizing, to a large extent, what an osteopathic physician should be.”
Phung credits her mentor with teaching her perseverance, strength, vulnerability, gratitude and altruism beginning at age 14.
She said, “I am persevering through my challenges while learning empathy to encourage others to persevere through their own. I am understanding that strength comes in various flavors, but every misstep has a strength. I am learning that vulnerability may be difficult to grasp, but teaches kindness and compassion. I am expressing gratitude more frequently because it makes people smile and blissfully happy. As for altruism, I’m hoping to one day obtain a level of altruism that Ms. Parras naturally had for her involvements.”
Established in 2005, PCOM Georgia is a private, not-for-profit, accredited institute of higher education dedicated to the healthcare professions. The Suwanee, Georgia, campus is affiliated with Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, a premier osteopathic medical school with a storied history. PCOM Georgia offers doctoral degrees in osteopathic medicine, pharmacy, and physical therapy and graduate degrees in biomedical sciences and physician assistant studies. Emphasizing "a whole person approach to care," PCOM Georgia focuses on educational excellence, interprofessional education and service to the wider community. The campus is also home to the Georgia Osteopathic Care Center, an osteopathic manipulative medicine clinic, which is open to the public by appointment. For more information, visit pcom.edu/georgia or call 678-225-7500.
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