A desire to follow their own paths
Steven Chan & Jimmy Doan
It’s no wonder Steven Chan and Jimmy Doan became instant friends at UC Irvine. The second-year medical students share much in common — including a desire to follow their own paths.
“My dad is a psychiatrist. I never thought about going into psychiatry myself because I didn’t want that father-son thing,” Jimmy laughs. “However, the more I explored different possibilities, the more I realized why he does what he does.”
Similarly, Steven’s father is a professor and researcher. “He planted the seed in my mind,” Steven says. “But I definitely wanted to make sure that parental influence wasn’t my main motivation.”
When Jimmy and Steven entered medical school, they both were undecided about a specialty. UC Irvine psychiatrist Gerald Maguire invited them to conduct a research project at the Center for the Medical Treatment of Stuttering, which serves patients throughout the world.
“People once believed that stuttering resulted from a patient’s inability to cope with emotional distress,” Jimmy says. “Dr. Maguire is on the forefront of treatment based on brain dysfunction, not just problems in social development.”
In the safe environment of the doctor’s office, a patient feels less anxiety than when out in the real world. That’s where Jimmy and Steven come in, because their assignment is to fluster patients.
“We are developing a virtual reality program that will allow him to monitor patients in stressful situations, such as job interviews and public speaking,” Jimmy explains.
None of this would be possible without the benevolence of Granville and Sidney Kirkup.
“Typically, people who stutter have trouble moving up the ladder of success,” Steven says. “Mr. Kirkup is unique, which makes his generosity all the more appreciated.”
— Bill Ross, University Advancement