Michelle Baek, D.O., is the Chief Resident/Resident Physician at the Valley Health System Family Medicine Residency Program. Dr. Baek is originally from LA. She attended BYU in Utah before continuing her medical education at Touro University Nevada. 

Tell us about yourself…

I am the first physician in my family. I have a 3-year-old golden doodle and I met my fiancé in residency!

What made you start thinking about practicing medicine?

As cliché as it sounds, I really wanted to help people. My high school AP biology teacher instilled in me the love for science. Medicine was the perfect combination of both.

How do you deal with stress and what advice would you have to offer to your peers regarding Stress Management?

You gotta find what works for you. Whether that is going to the gym, hanging out with family/friends who are completely outside of medicine– you need to find something that brings you true bliss. Maybe that is staying home all day and watching Netflix – if yes, so be it! What keeps you sane may be different from what others need. Therapy is also extremely helpful. I was very lucky to be established with a great therapist who has helped me work through many hardships.

What is your perspective on the future of medicine in Southern Nevada?

I am very hopeful that it will only improve. With the rise of new professional schools, I believe we will have more and more people stay and practice medicine in Southern Nevada. I am a california native who moved here for medical school, ended up falling in love with the town, and staying to practice. I know there are many others like me and with more schools, more residency programs, our medical community will only grow. I am excited to see the development (and be a part of it too!)

What is the process like when applying for Medical School/Residency?

An arduous, financially straining, at times soul-crushing journey… But as I move further into my career, I am seeing that it was all worth it. I am the first in my family to enter the medical field, and navigating the process was definitely a challenge. I was fortunate enough to have many mentors guide me, and I hope I can be that person for others.

Last thoughts: Favorite hobbies?  Favorite junk food? Favorite quote you would like to share? Last book you read?

The last book I read was “Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking” by Susan Cain. Would recommend it to introverts (like myself) struggling to muster up energy for everything and anything. Extroverts to learn more about why we are the way we are sometimes.