TUC’s Teekz Yenpasook Recognized As 2021 National Student Doctor Of The Year
Dr. Yenpasook was awarded for his ongoing work promoting social justice and health equity for underrepresented populations
Touro University California’s (TUC’s) third-year osteopathic medical student, Teekz Yenpasook, was named the Council of Osteopathic Student Government Presidents’ (COSGP’s) 2021 National Student Doctor of the Year. Each year, COSGP selects one student, chosen from a pool of thousands nominated by their schools, as Student Doctor of the Year based on their service to their community, leadership and dedication to the osteopathic profession. Yenpasook was honored for his tireless efforts to increase diversity and inclusion in the healthcare field and his leadership, both on the TUC campus and Vallejo, California.
Dr. Tami Hendriksz, Associate Dean of Academic Affairs at TUC, who served on the committee that nominated Yenpasook for Student Doctor of the Year said, “In a crowd of impressive medical students, [Yenpasook] stands out due to his diligence, compassion, focus and ability to elicit positive change.… I am honored that he is one of our students and will soon be an osteopathic physician. Our entire profession benefits from having Teekz as a member.”
Yenpasook has made it his goal to increase the diversity of the TUC student body and help promote inclusion throughout all aspects of healthcare. During his preclinical years, he served as the Vice President of Admissions in his school’s student government, focusing his term on increasing the representation of minority communities. At TUC, Yenpasook recognized a gap in the medical school curriculum and worked to bridge it by developing a course about LGBTQIA+ Considerations in Healthcare. Yenpasook also directs the Biotech Academy Summer Internship – a program started by TUC students to educate and mentor underrepresented minority high school students within the community about osteopathic medicine, health sciences and higher education.
“Teekz Yenpasook exemplifies the values of Touro University – he has demonstrated time and time again his commitment to equality, the practice of osteopathy and to his fellow man,” said Sarah Sweitzer, TUC CAO and Provost. “I can’t think of a more worthy recipient of this honor and I look forward to watching Teekz continue to do great things. I know that as a physician, he will be a fierce advocate for his patients and the communities he will work in.”
When relating to students and mentees, Yenpasook often draws on his experiences. As a cancer survivor who grew up in Oakland and attended community college prior to transferring to University, Yenpasook uses his personal history and stories to motivate and encourage others. A frequent keynote speaker, his personal presentations have helped to raise funds for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, and inspired hundreds of high school, community college and premedical school students to follow in his footsteps.
“Through mentorship, I discovered that I had an ability to pull out the light and strength in others who were struggling to believe in or nurture their own light,” Yenpasook stated, “Through friendship, I found interest in revamping medical curricula and how we view and interact with patients from a psycho-social-cultural lens … Through advocacy, I gained courage to support and fight for social justice causes, uplift marginalized communities, and inspire higher education and health sciences to local Bay Area students,” he continued. “But I did not accomplish any of these amazing feats alone and I am so grateful for my community and positive inspirations that have helped me during my time at Touro.”