By Rosanna Ruiz
A little more than a dozen years have passed since Dr. Peter Tran graduated from UTMB, but he determined that it was the right time to give back to UTMB.
Dr. Tran, who was raised in Houston and now practices medicine at a San Francisco-area hospital, contributed $100,000 to the university’s ongoing Working Wonders Campaign.
Two faculty offices will be named in his honor in the new Jennie Sealy Hospital, set to open in early 2016.
“When I heard about the new hospital I decided to give now rather than toward the end of my career,” Dr. Tran said. “I want to make a difference while UTMB is rebuilding from the hurricane and making the campus better. The new hospital is my first big opportunity to make a little bit of a difference and give back to UTMB because of the training I received there.”
Dr. David L. Callender, UTMB’s president, lauded Dr. Tran’s remarkable contribution and loyalty to his alma mater saying that his gift would certainly inspire other alumni.
“We are deeply grateful to Dr. Tran for his marvelous commitment to UTMB,” Dr. Callender said. “All of us are inspired when UTMB graduates choose to make gifts that enable the university to continue its work to train future health professionals and improve health care.”
Choosing to place his name on the faculty offices was a way for Dr. Tran to show his gratitude to Dr. Randy Urban, his mentor, and the other faculty members he learned from during his time at UTMB.
“I was so impressed with the dedication of the faculty there during my training, especially the first two years of basic sciences,” he said.
UTMB, he said, prepared him well for a career he describes as rewarding. He now practices internal medicine, cardiology and emergency medicine at Kaiser Foundation Hospital.
“My career is what I thought it would be. Busy, exciting and I meet new patients every day. It is as rewarding as I thought it would be,” he said.
Dr. Tran was just a toddler when his family fled war torn Vietnam in 1975. Science always interested him, but he realized that he would be more fulfilled interacting with patients than spending his days in a lab. A medical school in Texas was his priority and UTMB seemed to be the right fit. He became the first physician in his family when he graduated in 2000.
Contributing to UTMB and the new hospital gives him a good feeling, he said.
“UTMB is doing the right thing in terms of their mission of education, research and patient care,” he said. “I received scholarships and financial aid while I was there, and to be able to give back makes you feel like you’ve made a difference.”