Dr. Diane Low is a future orthopedic surgeon from Hawaii. While growing up in Honolulu, she volunteered at a hospital and had a series of pet rats, the last one named Piko, which means “belly button” in Hawaiian.
Dr. Dan Reynolds is a future emergency physician from Pittsburgh. A father of a 9-month-old, he got his early training in staying calm and administering first aid while babysitting three, very active younger sisters. As a teen, he was an avid swimmer and a lifeguard.
Dr. Tiffany Garcia is a future family physician from Reading. The daughter of Colombian immigrants, she helped her mom to navigate medical appointments. Before medical school, she worked at Dorney Park, where she developed a love for roller coasters.
These are just three of the 59 residents in the 2022 class at WellSpan, who are getting training in seven specialties: dentistry, emergency medicine, family medicine, general surgery, internal medicine, orthopedic surgery, and obstetrics and gynecology. The group carries with them their family experiences that formed them, their unique interests and passions, and their fresh dreams for their future – all ingredients for the doctors they will become.
Here are three of their stories.
Dr. Diane Low
Her hero: “My Hawaii-born grandfather was a Japanese American and was in Pearl Harbor when it was bombed. He was part of the 100th Battalion which was the most highly decorated regimen in the U.S. military history in WWII. He was in a tough battle in France with severe shrapnel injury and recovered thanks to the perseverance of the surgeons.”
Her other heroes: “Dr. Ayesha Yahya was the first female orthopedic resident at York and Dr. Judith Kopinski was the first female orthopedic surgeon attending I have ever met. I look up to these females in the program since there are so few. I am thankful for the diversity at WellSpan. Dr. Yahya and Dr. Kopinksi are the most fearless women I have ever met. I aspire to follow in their footsteps."
Her hobbies: Surfing, scuba diving, hiking, running, origami, and Escrima (a Filipino form of martial arts).
Dr. Dan Reynolds
His inspiration: His mom, Rena Murphy, started out her working life as an operating room nurse, and shared with her son how much her physician colleagues enjoyed their careers. Now a high school chemistry teacher, she has maintained her nursing license and enjoys talking medicine with her son.
His grandfather’s collapse: He lived with his grandparents while going to medical school in western Pennsylvania. One morning, he awoke to a loud crash and found his grandfather on the floor, having what looked like a seizure. He stabilized his neck, made sure he could breathe, called 911, and gave the emergency dispatcher a detailed medical history. Doctors later said his quick intervention helped lead to a good outcome for his grandfather, now 75, who had suffered a brain bleed.
His ED approach: “I find a good balance of taking the time to talk to the patient and getting to know them and figure out their story, but also be quick enough to get the ball rolling to help them as fast as I can. I have been told my personality fits that type of work.”
Dr. Tiffany Garcia
Her hero: “There was a family doctor in Reading who spoke Spanish and I swear she saw the entire Spanish-speaking population there. I really admired her because she was basically everything for these people. I don’t know what patients would have done without her.”
Her goal as a doctor: “I want to be someone patients can confide in, a coach for them so they can take control of their health and well-being, their mental health and social issues. I am big in meditation and mindfulness. I can share how that has helped me. I also like to exercise and eat healthy.”
Her hobbies: She meditates every night, loves to travel, and is a fan of roller coasters. Her personal favorite: Kingda Ka in New Jersey, the tallest coaster in the world and the fastest (at 128 mph) in North America.
Learn more about WellSpan’s educational programs here.