It’s no secret that a doctor’s life can be demanding, hectic and stressful – particularly during the early stages of medical practice. But Dr. Ming Han Cha, a physician who is beginning his career as an Internal Medicine Specialist at Southside Regional Medical Center in Petersburg, has found time to volunteer at SOAR365 and says the experience is both meaningful and rewarding.
In 2021, Ming completed his residency training in Internal Medicine in Akron, Ohio, and later moved to Petersburg to begin his vocation as a physician.
“I realized that I have not encountered many persons living with disabilities, even while in medical training,” said Ming. “With that in mind, SOAR365 appears to be an ideal volunteer opportunity that allows me to better understand this community and its needs. I also hope to build meaningful connections along the way, as I believe human connection is an important ingredient of a fulfilling life.”
Prior to his medical training, Ming worked as site coordinator in a community service center focusing on LGBTQ+ communities and sex workers. During his service period, Ming encountered various groups with their own specific needs. “This experience taught me that everyone is unique and should not be defined by just one aspect of their lives,” he said. “Having learned that, I keep an open mind when approaching people with disabilities and see them as unique individuals.”
While volunteering at Camp Baker, Ming gained an even greater understanding of how all participants are unique in their own way.
”Many campers have very different life experiences than most of us, and they have profound insights regarding life,” he said. “I witnessed pure enthusiasm in one camp participant, who expressed absolute love for Bruce Springsteen and his songs. Another camper showed resilience and continued to express kindness and good humor despite tough family circumstances. There are so many things I learned, consciously and subconsciously, from my volunteering experience with SOAR365, and I look forward to future volunteer opportunities.”