Member Spotlight: Jennifer Mao
Updated: Nov 4, 2019
Jennifer Mao is a health and science enthusiast passionate about global outreach and learning. As Cambodia Project Manager, she is responsible for collaborating with partnered clinics on their needs and concerns and providing effective communication between Dr. Messer and the nurses.
Born in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Jennifer immigrated to the US with her family as a child. After graduating from UT Austin, Jennifer joined the OGT team in Summer 2019 as a volunteer translator and medical assistant during our project in rural Cambodia. Jennifer's medical experience (she currently works as a Medical Technician at Dell Medical Center in Austin, TX) and language and cultural expertise made her the perfect addition to the OGT Cambodian project team. Fluent in Khmer, Jennifer was able to successfully bridge the gap between the American, English-speaking medical team and the Cambodian clinicians, health workers, and medical students that we partnered with.
"My experience in Cambodia with One Good Turn will continue to resonate with me as I embark on my journey to becoming a physician. It is rewarding and certainly eye opening to see the difference in health care systems there and here in the US. It was an incredible learning experience, both personal and professional. From a professional perspective, I gained new knowledge of many diseases and concerns that are less common in the US, such as dengue fever, malaria, and malnutrition. In addition, we learned how to provide medical care in a more resource-limited environment. The clinics that we visited lack essential medications, updated equipment, and training that affected their ability to provide the best care for their patients. It was such a heartwarming moment to see how happy the staff was to receive the donated medication, equipment, and teaching moments from One Good Turn. From a personal perspective, the experience allowed me to learn more about my culture and people and challenged me to be more proactive and collaborative. I’m grateful to have had this experience with One Good Turn, as it has provided me an experience that I know will profoundly change the way that I think about medicine and the care that I will provide in the future."
During her free time, you’ll find Jennifer reading at a coffee shop, hiking the trails of Barton Creek Greenbelt, and spending time with friends and family. In addition to her work with OGT and at the Dell Medical Center, Jennifer is preparing to take the MCAT and plans to attend medical school in the near future.