This month we catch up with Amanda del Rosario, whose educational foundation, love for Guam and passion for helping young patients has brought her back home to pursue exciting opportunities for career and community involvement.
What did you do the year following High School Graduation?
I attended college at UC Berkeley, where I majored in Molecular and Cell Biology and minored in Music.
Can you tell us about the career path you chose after college?
After college I stayed in the SF Bay Area and worked as a medical assistant and clinical research associate. Then I moved to Seattle for medical school at the University of Washington, followed by pediatric residency at Children’s Hospital Oakland. I always wanted to come back to Guam after I completed my training, so now I’m back for good and working at American Medical Center as a primary care pediatrician.
What do you enjoy most about your current career position?
I love my job and my new AMC family. Everyone has been so welcoming and supportive, and it’s a great feeling to finally be back home. Working here as a new pediatrician is especially exciting because I have my entire career ahead of me, and there are so many opportunities to get involved in the community. My dream is to eventually open up a practice with my husband, who is also a pediatrician, and establish programs to expose our island’s youth to the medical field, and also provide support to those interested in pursuing medicine. Throughout my training, I was involved in various youth outreach and mentorship programs and medical education committees, and I hope to continue this here. My hope is that by establishing Guam as a site where pre-med students and residents can pursue opportunities like preceptorships and medical rotations, we could recruit more doctors to come back and practice here.
How did you become interested in your field of study or work?
Growing up here was my biggest motivation for becoming a physician. Guam is medically underserved, with limited resources and a shortage of health professionals. I wanted to become a doctor to help provide care in parts of the world where medical services are most needed, and our island is one of them. I chose to specialize in pediatrics because children’s health was the field I was most passionate about – more so than any other specialty. I love the diversity, the challenges, and the joy that my young patients bring me. From the moment they are born all the way up until the time they become adults, providing care to children and teens during these critical years of development is the most rewarding aspect of my job.
How has attending St. John’s prepared you for success in college and in the workplace?
I had great teachers who inspired and motivated me to excel in school. St. John’s also offered many opportunities for service and volunteer work during high school, which combined with the IB curriculum, helped make me a competitive college applicant. When I enrolled as a freshman at UC Berkeley, I found that my IB credits earned me sophomore standing. College and medical school was difficult and even more competitive, but St. John’s helped lay the foundation for me to succeed. I am so thankful for the education I received there, and very proud to be an SJS alumni!
Do you still keep in touch with your SJS friends?
Yes! The friends I made at SJS are my oldest and dearest ones. Only a few of us from the class of 2000 are still here on Guam, and the rest are scattered across different parts of the world, but the majority of our class is still connected through Facebook. It’s incredible to see how we’ve all grown since high school — I love seeing updates on life events, career accomplishments, babies being born and kids growing up. It’s still hard to believe how many years have passed since we all graduated together!
What experiences from St. John’s are the most memorable?
There are so many to choose from, but the memories that stand out to me the most were the times spent with classmates – late night study sessions, pool parties, paddling senior year, and even just hanging out doing nothing. Thinking back to those times makes me feel so nostalgic and always brings a smile to my face.
Outside of work, what other activities or organizations are you involved with and why?
I love to spend time with my family and our dog who we brought back from California — we don’t have kids yet so he’s our baby! Also, I am enjoying getting reacquainted with island life. After being away for so long (15 years!), I appreciate the island and its beauty more than ever. My husband is new to Guam and it’s been so much fun showing him around and exploring together. We love to travel and are both big foodies and beach bums. Now that we live here, we’re excited to get into paddle-boarding, snorkeling, and diving, and also exploring more of Asia and the Pacific!
What would you say to a prospective family who is considering St. John’s School?
I didn’t transfer into St. John’s until 8th grade, and I remember feeling nervous and shy about having new teachers and new classmates at an intimidating new school. But my parents wanted me to have the best education possible, and sending me to SJS was the best decision they could’ve made when it came to choosing schools. I don’t think I would be where I am today if it weren’t for the educational experience I had there.
Any thing else you would like to add?
For any students who might be interested in a medical career, please feel free to contact me if you’d like to learn more about being a pediatrician, or want to do some shadowing in clinic!
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