This doctor discovered a passion for pediatrics at HSC. Now, she is helping medical students reach their potential

October 28, 2021

By Kathryn Lytton

Priya Bui Pediatric Doctor For HSC

Often, it is more about the journey than the destination.

For Priya Bui, DO, FAAP, Interim Chair of the Department of Pediatrics and Women’s Health, it is both. As a Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine (TCOM) alumni, her office is now in the same hallway where she went through her pediatric rotation during her third year of medical school and where she realized her calling is working with children.

“I found that in every patient room I was entering, there was a child,” said Dr. Bui. “The potential of what you contribute for them and their health in their lifetime, that was just constantly motivating. I was two weeks into that rotation, and I knew that’s what I was going to do.”

Her passion for bringing out a person’s potential extends to her work with medical students.

“For students it’s the same thing,” she said. “They’re at a place where they want to make it and they possess the potential to be an excellent physician. That is my why – seeing someone’s potential and being part of their growth and through that, you’re honored in all the work they do.”

As Dr. Bui entered her pediatric residency, she initially thought she would pursue a specialty.

“After I became a parent in my second year, I saw the patient relationship totally differently,” she said. “The intimacy between a primary care physician and patient and witnessing the impact was special.”

As her residency was nearing an end, Dr. Bui also realized that it would be difficult to give up the academic environment she had become accustomed to through medical school and her residency program. She reached out to her mentor, Dr. Paul Bowman, former Chair of the Department of Pediatrics and Women’s Health at HSC, to see if there was an opportunity for her available in the department.

“I wanted to give back to TCOM knowing that I came from here and remembering how much mentorship meant to me as a student,” she said. “When I was here as a student, I really found my people in terms of colleagues, who are literally some of the people still here today.”

Dr. Bui’s first day on the job felt warm and welcoming. The HSC campus was similar to how she remembered it, though the students looked a little younger. 

“I felt like I had a specific role to play,” she said. “Which was to elevate the experience for the students to be ready for the next step in residency and to give them a window into what that next step would look like.”

Since Dr. Bui started as an Assistant Professor, HSC has seen significant growth and change. In the past year, she was named the first female Chair of the Department of Pediatrics and Women’s Health.

“If I saw myself in this office as Acting Chair during my pediatric rotation, I would have been thrilled to see a woman in this position, especially in the department of Pediatrics and Women’s Health,” she said. “It also speaks to where the university is and where we really value contribution and growth. It also shows how much this place can offer faculty.”

Opportunities for growth for health care professionals are plentiful at HSC.

“You know I came here probably as a pretty ambitious, hardworking person, but the different opportunities that were offered to me through the department, through the clinical practice, through the opportunities for teaching and even in the Fort Worth community, it’s just a very ripe opportunity here for growth,” she said.

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