From Koong-Nah Chung, PhD

Associate Dean, Medical Student Research

Your first and second years at WUSM are pass-fail. Form strong bonds with your classmates, collaborate and support each other. You will spend the next four years with your peers, and they will be your lifelong friends and colleagues. Get to know the faculty, administration and staff. We are here to help you succeed. Find an advisor or mentor who takes an interest in you. Your mentor will help you navigate medical school, and if you’re lucky, you may get a home-cooked meal out of it. Stay grounded by volunteering in the community. Have fun and stay sane by getting involved in school clubs and continuing with your hobbies. Get to know St. Louis; there is no shortage of entertainment, including the world-champion Cardinals, the world-famous Saint Louis Zoo, the Saint Louis Science Center, the Saint Louis Art Museum and the Botanical Garden. In addition, there is a world-class symphony, many music venues and plenty of nightlife. Pay attention to your academics. Take your basic science courses seriously. They will come in handy in later years, and your future patients will thank you. Don’t worry about your residency match yet. Most importantly, get enough sleep, exercise and have fun. Oh, and if you want to do research, just email me (

Visit Dr. Chung for guidance on research opportunities and to ask her about her favorite rapper. (Hint: He’s slim, and he’s shady.)