Dr. Amy Gowan and Dr. Angie Wang: William F. Ross, M.D., Scholarship Award in Family Medicine
By Remekca Owens
Though they grew up in different parts of the world and soon will begin their medical careers in separate regions of the United States, Dr. Amy Gowan and Dr. Angie Wang have core unifying values in common: taking care of families and building relationships with their patients.
During their time at UT Southwestern Medical Center, both Dr. Gowan and Dr. Wang exhibited the leadership and compassion needed for a career in family medicine, earning them the William F. Ross, M.D., Scholarship Award in Family Medicine.
The Ross Award, named for the Chair of Family and Community Medicine at UT Southwestern Medical Center from 1984 to 1993, includes a $1,000 scholarship from the Dallas chapter of the Texas Academy of Family Physicians Foundation.
Dr. Amy Gowan
As a teenager, Dr. Gowan volunteered at Dell Children’s Medical Center of Central Texas in her hometown of Austin, brightening the lives of children facing a daunting world of doctors, chronic illnesses, and medical procedures. It was there that she discovered her passion for medicine.
“I really liked the atmosphere – it felt like everyone was working toward the same goals,” said Dr. Gowan. “Growing up, I’d always enjoyed science and community service, so medicine seemed like a perfect combination of these things.”
After graduating from New York University in 2008, she spent six months in Guatemala in the cultural immersion program Somos Hermanos, which trains future medical students to communicate effectively with and care for Latino patients. That was when her interest in family medicine solidified.
“I’ve always loved the idea of caring for the entire family. But my time there led me to realize how much good primary care could impact the health of underserved populations,” Dr. Gowan said. “I came home committed to being a physician for the underserved. Family medicine, in its broadness, seemed like the most logical way to reach this goal.”
At UT Southwestern, Dr. Gowan has been an active volunteer with United to Serve as well as the Monday Clinic, which provides free medical care to the underserved in North Dallas. She hopes to continue working in both urban and rural areas, as well as participate in international medical humanitarian efforts.
This fall, she will begin her residency in family medicine at John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth.
“I have known Dr. Gowan since she was a second-year student and served as the president of the Family Medicine Interest Group. I have always been impressed by her ability to organize and lead events,” said Dr. Dan Sepdham, Assistant Professor of Family and Community Medicine. “You can count on her to take a project and carry it through to completion.”
Dr. Angie Wang
During her childhood in Taiwan, visits to the doctor were a family affair for Dr. Wang. And after deciding to pursue a medical career, caring for the entire family – regardless of age, gender, or medical need – became her mission.
“I didn’t realize how natural the connection was for me at first. Growing up, my grandmother and I saw the same physician, and we all had such a great relationship with him,” said Dr. Wang. “So I really gravitated toward the idea of being a generalist who can build relationships with the entire family.”
Dr. Wang earned her undergraduate degree in 2005 from Wesleyan University in Connecticut and went on to spend two years assisting in Alzheimer’s research at The Rockefeller University in New York City. Then, as medical school at UT Southwestern was about to begin, she received an unexpected Texas welcome.
“I met my husband right before school started. He was already here at UTSW in the M.D./Ph.D. program,” said Dr. Wang. “My old pastor in Connecticut moved and became his pastor here in Texas. He suggested that Michael help me settle in, and that’s how it all began.”
They married in 2010, and their son Jonah was born at St. Paul University Hospital in 2012. This summer, the couple will move to Ann Arbor, Mich., to begin residencies in family medicine and pathology at the University of Michigan.
In addition to patient care, Dr. Wang has a passion for education. She hopes one day to teach at a medical school, as well as provide community-based medical care and education.
“Dr. Wang is an extremely diligent student who really seemed to blossom in the outpatient environment,” said Dr. Sepdham. “She’s going to be a great family doctor because she is just a great people person in general. Having a family of her own, she brings a lot of common sense to her patient care.”