INSPIRATIONAL JOURNEY. Dr. Yeng Her, a Hmong American who
earned an M.D.-Ph.D., reflects on a life journey that has taken
him from refugee camps in Thailand as a child to a doctoral
degree in medicine from the Mayo Clinic, during an interview at
his home in Madison, Wisconsin. (John Hart/Wisconsin State
Journal via AP)
From The Asian Reporter, V27, #13 (July 3, 2017), page
Hmong-American doctor inspired by heritage
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A Hmong American who recently received
his medical degree plans to return to Madison, Wisconsin to
pursue research on using stem cells to treat chronic pain.
Yeng Her became interested in helping people regain function
after spending much of his childhood at Hmong refugee camps in
Thailand surrounded by people injured during the Vietnam War,
the Wisconsin State Journal reported.
"I felt powerless," he said. "That lit a fire inside of me to
go into medicine and try to bridge these gaps."
The 33-year-old received his M.D. and Ph.D. in biochemistry
and molecular biology at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester,
Minnesota. The M.D.-Ph.D. program takes eight years to complete.
It starts and ends with two years of medical school and has four
years of graduate school in between.
Her and his family recently moved to Fresno, California,
where he’ll spend a year at a medical internship. Then he’ll
start a three-year residency in physical medicine and
rehabilitation at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Health.
He is considering opening up a clinic in Laos, where his
parents grew up, and hopes to promote higher education among
"This is the reason we’re here in the United States, that we
have this opportunity," Her said. "Education is the key."
Her hopes telling his immigrant story will inspire others.
"Opening the door for people like myself, to achieve the
American dream, that’s something we should do," he said.