Dr. Geraldine “Ging” Zamora, a rheumatologist, has been thrust into the spotlight over the years, but she’s handled controversies with grace and she has turned her experiences into teachable moments. Despite telling us a bit about her life on the Rise up with Janeena Chan podcast, sharing her journey of self-love and healing, there are still a few facets to Dr. Ging that we have yet to discover.
Here are some things you may not know about Dr. Ging:
1. Her parents separated when she was young.
Her parents split up when she was in 1st grade. After that, Zamora and her sister lived with their mom. Seeing how hard their mother worked to put them through school is the reason she and her sister are disciplined and hardworking. They needed the scholarships to get through grade school, high school, and college.
2. Dr. Ging was a Girl Scout.
Zamora went to Chiang Kai Shek College, a Chinese school, and while there, she was a Girl Scout. She also tried out for the cheerleading team, but didn’t make it.
3. She wasn’t always set on medicine.
While applying for colleges, she didn’t really know what course she should take. The guidance counselor advised her to think of what she wanted her future to look like, to which she replied at the time: “I just want there to be aircon and to be seated at a desk.”
4. Her cousin convinced her to go to the University of Santo Tomas (UST).
Her cousin was studying Med Tech at UST at the time and convinced her to go to the same college. Zamora went there, planning to apply for work in the USA after she graduated, thinking it would be a good way to help her mom.
5. She applied to medical schools on a whim.
While she didn’t really plan on applying to any medical schools, all her batchmates were doing so. She jumped on the bandwagon and was accepted to the University of the Philippines (UP) while her friends weren’t, much to her dismay. She went on to attend UP because the tuition was affordable. In the end, she was happy with her choice because of the culture and people at the school.
6. Her time at Philippine General Hospital (PGH) inspired her.
While working at PGH, she realized how much poverty increases the chances of illnesses. It moved her to take part in fundraisers and join Sagip Buhay Medical Foundation which helps raised money for those in the ICU and the wards. She, along with others, turned her passion into advocacy.
7. She initially wasn’t going to be a rheumatologist.
Cardiology was her first love. But at the time, she already had her daughter. Cardiology would have kept her at the hospital for up to 36 hours, keeping her apart from her daughter for long periods of time. She didn’t want that kind of lifestyle and so she turned to rheumatology.
8. She’s very happy to have been born Chinoy.
Zamora is about 2/3 Chinese. Her mom is 75 percent Chinese and her dad is 50 percent Chinese. She is very glad to be Chinoy. For one, the Chinoy community rallied around her during her academic career, cheering her on, inspiring her to do well in school, and contributing to her growth as a doctor.
9. Her “Chinoy trait” is resilience.
When asked about which Chinoy trait represents her most, she answered that it’s her resiliency. She also compared herself to a bamboo since it bends to pressure and it’s strong.
“For my age, I have withstood some pretty devastating storms, and I’m very fortunate that after each storm, I was able to rise up again and proceed with my calling, which I think now, is to be a doctor and help people get better,” she said, while adding that other Chinoys are resilient as well.
As for her advice for Chinoys, especially medical students: “It’s good to have plans, but it’s also good to be flexible.”
It’s no wonder that she would compare herself to bamboo, an adaptable plant that survives — and even thrives — under any circumstances.
If you’re want to find out even more about Dr. Geraldine Zamora, you can watch the full video below.