Sho Timothy Yano, who last month became the youngest person to graduate with an M.D., from the Pritzker School of Medicine at the University of Chicago at the age of 21, said in his autobiography that it is important for one to have a purpose when studying.
|American prodigy and scholar Sho Yano speaks during a press conference on Monday. (Awesome Communication Group)|
“What I would hope to tell students with my book is to think about why they are studying,” Yano said during a press conference in Seoul on Monday.
“I’d really like to encourage people to have an idea of what they want to do,” he said.
Born in 1990 in Portland, Oregon, to a Japanese-born father and a Korean-born mother, Yano reportedly scored 1,500 out of 1,600 on the SAT at age 8. He entered Loyola University Chicago at age 9.
Upon earning his undergraduate degree at age 12, he entered the University of Chicago’s Medical Scientist Training Program. There he earned his Ph.D. in molecular genetics and cell biology in 2009, before earning his M.D. last month.
Yano said the fact that he likes to be around and help people led him to want to become a doctor. But he also faced a lot of challenges and discrimination while attending university as a teen Asian student, he said.
“Being the youngest student in college and in the Ph.D. program meant a lot of people were unhappy that I was there,” he said.
“For example, when I was applying for (university) programs, the director of one of the programs told me I was too young and that I wouldn’t be able to handle it. And on top of that, he said I had a Korean accent and that was a problem. That was incredibly offensive and it hurt.
“I really didn’t care what this man thought about me. I cared much more about my goal which was to be a doctor.”
The autobiography also includes a list of books, including the Bible and George Orwell’s “Animal Farm,” that Yano says shaped his life.
By Claire Lee (firstname.lastname@example.org)