Magazine article Aging Today

Seizing the Opportunities in Aging: The USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology

Magazine article Aging Today

Seizing the Opportunities in Aging: The USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology

Article excerpt

As nations across the world grow older, new opportunities arise daily to address the needs of aging populations. The University of Southern California Leonard Davis School of Gerontology prepares graduates to recognize and seize these opportunities. (Check online at http://asaging. org/node/3447 for ASA's courses offered in conjunction with USC.)

The oldest school of gerontology, USC has a world-class reputation and is bolstered by the largest selection of gerontology degree programs in the world, hands-on training from internationally renowned professors, coveted internships and valuable connections, which make USC Davis graduates highly sought after.

USC Davis School alumni have gone on to pursue careers in law, medicine, business, academia, science, government, social services, nonprofits, marketing, advocacy, housing, healthcare, management, urban planning and more. Two graduates (above, right) share stories of what their USC Davis School degrees have meant to them.

Karlton Wong, Physician

"My career today would not have been the same without the Leonard Davis School of Gerontology," says Dr. Karlton Wong. Wong holds a B.S. in Biological Sciences and Gerontology from USC, as well as a M.S. in Gerontology from the USC Davis School.

An M.D. from the USC Keck School of Medicine followed in 2014. Wong says his gerontology background not only gave him an edge over other applicants for medical school and residency programs, but also taught him, in his work as a physician, to more holistically consider his patients' lives.

"I recognize that practicing medicine is a whole lot more than knowing the science behind disease pathology," says Wong, who is an internal medicine resident at Los Angeles County-USC Hospital. "It is knowing about your patients entirely-where they grew up, their ethnic background, their life goals, their social and financial adversities, their family situation."

Good medicine requires one to recognize that all patients are unique and have special needs, he adds. "You can always treat pneumonia with a simple antibiotic regimen, but the important questions are how will the patient afford the medication, whether they are able to take it by themselves or remember to take it at all, and how will they make it to follow-up appointments," Wong says. "My studies in gerontology made me aware of these issues before I even started medical school."

While some of Wong's Davis School classmates also are physicians, others have pursued diverse paths.

Cynthia Hutchins, Director of Financial Gerontology

In her job as a retirement specialist for Merrill Lynch, Cynthia Hutchins consistently had been struck by how this generation's retirement would be unlike all previous generations to date. …

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