‘A positive difference’

OUWB alum Florence Doo, M.D., holds two fellowships, and big plans for the future

An image of Flo Doo, M.D.

Flo Doo, M.D., '17, OUWB, takes time out during a recent vacation for a photo. (Submitted)

An image of Flo Doo, M.D., at OUWB Commencement 2017


icon of a calendarApril 27, 2023

icon of a pencilBy Andrew Dietderich

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Before Florence Doo, M.D., wanted to be a doctor, she was certain about two things: she loved learning, and she had a strong desire to make a positive difference in the world around her.

It took a conversation with a person who was houseless, she says, to help her figure out exactly how to marry the two via a career in medicine.

Today, Doo, ’17, OUWB, is wrapping up two fellowships that will culminate in July: one at Stanford University and one through the American College of Radiology. Last June, she wrapped up a diagnostic radiology residency at Mt. Sinai West in New York. 

Doo recently was awarded a grant via the 2023 Association of University Radiologists GE Radiology Research Academic Fellowship program. 

Soon, she is set to become Director of Innovation at the University of Maryland Medical Intelligent Imaging (UM2ii) Center.

In every role she’s had — and expects to have in the future — Doo has, and will, worked toward her goal of making a positive difference in the world.

And much of the credit can go to that conversation with the person was houseless, while Doo was volunteering with Boston Health Care for the Homeless.

“She was talking to me and told me how she appreciated how I was sitting with her, talking with her, taking her to her appointments, and really trying to connect with her,” says Doo. “She said other people were just showing her around, like she was a commodity.”

“She said ‘I really think you would be an amazing physician,’” adds Doo.

Finding a way

Doo grew up in southern California as an only child to a single parent. She attended public schools in Huntington Beach.

As a youngster, she enjoyed playing tennis and loved learning (she jumped grades and qualified to graduate high school early) — and also had a lot of questions.

For a long time, she says, such questions concerned her future. Chief among them pertained to the value of being a good student, and if she should even go to college.

“I had really amazing teachers who really encouraged me, but I spent a lot of time wondering ‘What do I do with just being a good student?’” she says.

Some of the answers were provided via a full scholarship she received for Wellesley College.

“If I didn’t get that scholarship, I wouldn’t be where I am professionally today,” she says.

Doo says her experiences at Wellesley awakened something inside of her. The “really formative” years there allowed her to fully focus on her studies, and exposed her to what she calls “real science.”

That included a big project in her senior year, whereby she developed an eye tracking device. The original intent was to track the eye movements of gamers, but Doo soon realized there were other implications.

“It had potential impact for radiology and surgeons, and even in the military, for people doing stuff like jumping out of planes, and needing to accurately and quickly see things in the environment” she said.

Seeing the potential, Doo attended Boston University with the intent to earn a master’s degree through the school’s Graduate Medical Studies program. She was able to do her thesis on the eye tracking device, and — as she was considering attending medical school — volunteered with organizations like Boston Health Care for the Homeless.

It was through that volunteer opportunity that Doo had that conversation that played a big role in helping her decide to attend medical school — though she didn’t know at the time that OUWB would be the one.

An image of Flo Doo, M.D., on Match Day 2017

Flo Doo, M.D., '17, OUWB, talks with faculty at the Class of 2017 Match Day celebration. (File photo)

A humbling experience

Doo says that when she began applying to medical schools, OUWB came onto her radar by accident.

She checked out the website and several videos featuring OUWB Founding Dean Robert Folberg, M.D.

The clincher, says Doo, was when she visited the school.

“Dean (Christina) Grabowski (former assistant dean of Medical Student Admissions) had such a wonderful process during the welcome interview, and you could feel it wasn’t just lip service or something on the website about how they wanted to have a diverse class of caring people,” she says.

Doo decided to attend OUWB, where she began as part of the school’s third class.

She has fond memories of her time there, she says, including meeting an “amazing group of friends” that she still connects with regularly.

Concurrently, Doo continued work on the start-up she formed called Surgerati, which was connected to the eye tracking device.

In 2016, she was named to Oakland County Executive’s Elite 40 Under 40 list — a group of individuals recognized for their accomplishments, how they give back to the community, and their leadership skills.

Doo’s ability to combine a medical school education while building a business made her eligible for the nomination as did her leadership roles on a national level with American Medical Women’s Association (AMWA), American Medical Student Association (AMSA) and Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC).

 “OUWB really cares about the student experience and really structured it in a great way,” she says. “Overall, I had a really good experiences…I think it’s an amazing place to be a medical student. I have full faith that any OUWB-trained student will be a great doctor.”

‘Change the world’

Doo says she cried when she found out on Match Day that she had matched at her top two choices: Yale-Waterbury Hospital for her first year of preliminary-medicine internship, and Mt. Sinai West for the remaining four years of diagnostic radiology residency training.

She credits Duane Mezwa, M.D., Stephan Sharf Dean, OUWB, and teaching radiologists like David Bloom, M.D., for being “an amazing mentor for radiology, and really guiding me through the process really well.”

More from OUWB

Rachel Hunt, M.D., ’17, reflects on how homeschooling, an ICU, and OUWB helped her to become a neurosurgeon — and the importance of Taco Tuesday

Yujin Oh, M.D., ’18, serves community while teaching, mentoring OUWB students

Alumnus from Class of 2017 finds success in Pacific Northwest health system

Doo excelled during residency, too: she was inducted into the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society; named intern of the year at Yale-Waterbury; received the New York State Radiological Society scholarship; received the RSNA Roentgen Resident Research Award, and more.

She is currently Chief Fellow in Body/Abdominal Imaging at Stanford University, while also serving a fellowship in informatics for the American College of Radiology (only one senior resident/fellow is selected nationally every year).

As for what’s next, Doo plans to be heavily involved in the continued evolution of informatics and AI in the field of radiology.

“Being part of that change is really, really exciting,” she says.

Once her fellowships are completed, Doo is set to become Director of Innovation at the University of Maryland Medical Intelligent Imaging (UM2ii) Center.

In short, her responsibilities will be to work at the junction of academic medicine and industry, to bridge the gap between health care and new technologies, and bring new advances to the bedside.

“Technology is really outpacing the ability for health care systems to adapt to all the change,” she says. “Hopefully, we can have some great partnerships, really build the future, and help change the world.”

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