Joanne Wu, UR, ’02, is currently a resident in the Department of Orthopedics and Rehabilitation Medicine at Strong Memorial Hospital. As a UR and URMC alumna, she interviews for Admissions and serves as a mentor in the free sports physical program provided by medical students.
In addition to being a quality medical officer, she is also enthusiastically athletic. She regularly participates in triathlons and marathons, and in her spare time, she teaches cycling classes at the Rochester Athletic Club. Wu also habitually volunteers in raising money for causes including the American Cancer Society, MS Society and the Boys and Girls Club of America.
Is this what you planned to do after you left UR or is it something completely different?
That’s a tough question because I was part of the Rochester Early Medical Scholars program when I was at UR, so I planned for a career in Medicine. However, I have to say, the medical career I had dreamt of entering is definitely not the same as the one I have embarked on now, and by that I don’t mean Grey’s Anatomy or Scrubs or ER. When I started medical school, I really thought I would be a sports doctor for a major sports team. It would not only mean free autographs, but also great seats. But, over the years, I found my passion lies more in the service side of medicine, where by being a doctor I am serving as a role model for my patients on how to live better, make better choices in life and also how to stay active – in mind, body and spirit.
What did you major in at UR?
I majored in Biomedical Engineering with a focus in Mechanical Engineering. I minored in Spanish and theatre.
If you could redo anything from your time at UR, what would you change?
If I could redo anything, I guess I would be “more present” in the moment. This is something I have learned in the past few years of doing yoga and meditation, but it really does apply to life itself. Everyone always hears the clichs, “life is short” and “time flies,” but I didn’t truly realize that until I sat down and took a deep breath, and suddenly I found myself in the planning committee for my fifth year college reunion and heard someone call me a doctor!
What’s your favorite thing about UR which you would not want to see changed?
The people – friendly, down-to-earth and ambitious.
What good advice do you have for current UR students?
Sticks and stones, even the frigid cold can break your bones, but words cannot hurt you. Stay true to who you are and don’t let anyone bring you down, because no matter how old you are or what career you go into, there will be people who will try to. Live, love and learn!
Fountaine is a member of the class of 2008.