Freshman sees co-op as vital part of journey to become doctor

09/27/16 – BOSTON, MA. – Geena Huh’20 poses for a portrait at Northeastern University on Sept. 27, 2016. Photo by Adam Glanzman/Northeastern University

As a high school student in South Korea, Geena Huh served as a group leader for a short-term mission to Nepal, where she provided medical care and health tips to local villagers.

Resources were scarce, she recalls, and helping the villagers—doling out medications to treat minor ailments, showing the injured how to bandage their wounds—struck her as a particularly noble cause to which she could dedicate her professional life.

“It was on that trip,” she explains, “where I found my passion for becoming a missionary doctor.”

Two years after the career-defining experience, Huh enrolled at Northeastern, where she is currently a first-year student in the doctor of pharmacy program. She says she chose Northeastern for its signature co-op program, which will afford her the opportunity to work in the health field before enrolling in medical school.

“I’ll be entering the real world with more experience than many of my peers,” says Huh, DPT’21. “The fact that I will be able to practice what I’ve learned in class before I actually become a doctor is very exciting.”

Huh routinely turns to her immediate family for inspiration and career advice. After all, her mother is the CEO of a drug development company, her father is a neuroscience professor, and her big sister is a fifth-year student in Northeastern’s pharmacy program.

As a kid, she liked visiting her father’s lab, an experience that piqued her interest in medicine. As she puts it, “The fact that my father was leading a group of young people to make new discoveries inspired me to become part of the medical field.”

To be sure, Huh is a natural born leader, a key trait of a good physician. Over the past several years, she’s served as the captain of her high school’s tennis team, the secretary of its chapter of the National Honor Society, and the lead actress in two musicals—Oklahoma! and High School Musical. If she had her druthers, she’d prefer to play Cosette, the deuteragonist in Victor Hugo’s Les Misérables. “I love her songs,” she says, “and it would be fun to be on stage as a soprano, which I’ve yet to experience.”

Perhaps Huh will expand her acting repertoire at Northeastern, which boasts several student-run theater groups that have caught her eye. For now, though, she’s content to continue to acclimate to her new home away from home, finding joy in making new friends while excelling in class. “I want to be a good student and a good person,” she says.