Jonathan Wong is a second-year medical student at the Medical College of Wisconsin and already has shown strong academic and leadership skills. In addition to his medical studies, Jonathan is conducting research on the social issue of eviction and striving to better evaluate the impact of eviction on the health of single women with children – because although information exists around eviction, there is very little data available on connecting the issue of eviction to a clinical context. As a native of San Francisco, Jonathan has a heightened sense of the importance of stable housing on the health of individuals and families, underscored by his knowledge of the precarious living situation in that city due to the cost of housing. He recognizes that the divide between the community and the clinic is a wide one, and that stable housing is seen as a cornerstone of health. Jonathan also is the student co-leader for the MCW Street Medicine interest group and works with the nonprofit organization, StreetLife Communities, to facilitate medical students interested in doing outreach with people experiencing homelessness. Jonathan would like to incorporate future work in policy and equity, in addition to caring for people with medical issues.
I first became involved with community engagement in college when I started volunteering in a free clinic in Tijuana, Mexico. Though I may not have fully realized it at the time, that experience set off a chain reaction of events and personal growth that in many ways has led me to where I am now. After graduating from college, I moved back to my hometown of San Francisco and continued doing community outreach, volunteering in free dining rooms, and driving for Meals on Wheels before starting medical school. Seeing the great disparity in wealth and rampant homelessness in San Francisco only further impassioned my desire to continue community engagement in medical school and beyond. Now at the Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW), I volunteer regularly with StreetLife Communities, a homeless outreach program, as I try to continue leaving a positive impact on the communities where I live. I am also doing research regarding the threat of evictions and health, especially for single mothers of color, who are the most disproportionately affected by evictions. Finally, I am a co-founder of the newly formed Street Medicine Interest Group at MCW, a student organization that aims to increase student involvement with community outreach.