Emory Graduate Resident Interview: Mina Tran

By: Lisa Dinh


  • What is your name, your professional title, and where are you from?


Mina Tran, MD. I’m from Atlanta, GA. I’m an emergency medicine resident at Baylor College of Medicine


  • What motivated you to become a doctor?


For as long as I remembered, I’ve wanted to be a doctor. I love interactions with people and I like helping people. It was a personal challenge of mine to go to school and get a professional degree.


  • What major experiences have you had as a physician? How did those shape you as a person?


Major experiences include the professors I’ve met along my route to become a physician. Throughout medical school I’ve had professors from a myriad of medical fields and I initially had a difficult time deciding what kind of doctor I wanted to be. Should I be an internist? A surgeon? A neurologist? A pediatrician? Each professor I had along the way taught me something new and something that shaped the type of physician (and person) that I am today.


  • How does what you study in medical school/undergrad differ/reflect in your actual job as a physician (resident?) ?


In medical school, there was a lot of emphasis of memorizing and getting good scores on an exam. In the practicing world, you have all the references you need and the pressure went from getting a good grade to doing the right (and safe) thing for the patient.


  • What’s your method of balancing work/life?


Making sure you chose the career you love is the key. I try to spend my time outside of the hospital with friends and family. Also, going to the gym seems to be the thing that is most helpful especially after a very stressful day in the hospital. 


  • What are some of the hardest times/experiences you’ve faced so far on your medical path? How did you overcome these?


Probably one of the most difficult things is the cost of medical school. It is a very expensive investment and there was a time when I thought I could not afford medical school. I worked very hard to obtain all the scholarships I could so that I did not depend on my parents financially. The cost of medical school is approx 240K as I last recall. However, my one advice is to never let finances deter you from the things you want to accomplish. A diploma has no value, but your loans has a value and you can always pay it off, eventually…


  • What keeps you motivated? What is your mantra if you have one?


My patients keep me motivated! Yes, honestly, my patients teach me a lot about humanity, humility, suffering and hope. Everyday when I go into the hospital, I always think about how privileged I am to be their doctor, the person they trust. Sometimes patients will tell you things they will never tell anyone else. The patient doctor bond is a special connection that reminds me of how fortunate I am to have the skills and ability to help people in need.


  • What’s an interesting science/health fact that all health students should know?


-No one will ever care about or ask you for your  MCAT score after you’ve entered medical school

-The more language you know, the better it is for your patients! So if you took Spanish, French or whatever foreign language necessary in college, it will come in handy! I happen to speak and write English, Spanish and Vietnamese which is convenient those are the top three spoken language at my hospital!


  • Who are your role models in the health field?


My role models are my professors in medical school and my clerkship attendings. There are too many to name but I studied at Emory School of Medicine and I would not be the doctor that I am without the professors and doctors that teach at Emory’s School of Medicine.


  • If you conduct research, please explain!


I have conducted research in the Department of Anesthesiology looking at a quality improvement project regarding the usage of propofol in the operating room. Another research I’ve done was with the Department of Otolaryngology looking at the anatomic relationship of the eustachian apparatus and its correlation to otitis media in childhood.


  • What research excites you about medicine now?


Access to medical care and language barriers.