Hometown physician

Sarah Markiewicz, Asst. Opinion Editor

Neighboring the H-Mart plaza near Diamond Bar High School, Dr. Jonathan Ou checks up on patients, taking note of their ailments and diagnosing their problems. It was only about 15 years ago that the DBHS alumnus was writing stories for the Bull’s Eye, where he was a feature editor.

While attending DBHS, Ou originally couldn’t decide between pursuing a career as a dentist or a lawyer. Since Ou’s father worked as a surgeon, he had an early exposure to the headshot2medical field. Still, Ou dabbled in journalism, mock trial, and Spanish club, having a variety of subject interests.

“I always knew that I wanted a position that would help the underserved population,” Ou said via email. After Ou graduated DBHS in 2001, he attended Pomona College for undergraduate school and USC for medical school. During college, Ou realized his passion was in science rather than in writing, and decided to pursue a career in the medical field.

Having been raised in Diamond Bar, Ou returned to the city where he grew up, and opened a family practice office only a few blocks away from the high school.

“I have always loved Diamond Bar, and it is great being able to give back to the community,” Ou said. “I have a few patients who were classmates, and some parents of classmates. It’s nice to be able to catch up with them, and see how our lives have changed since high school.”

Although Ou hasn’t had any DBHS alumni medical students working for him, he has had high school student interns working in his office. “The field of medicine is very different these days. I am one of a few younger doctors who have opened solo practice offices. Most doctors nowadays join large medical groups.”

When Ou was in high school, some of his favorite teachers include former calculus teacher Howard Alcosser and former AP Spanish teacher Christine Buccola.

“I use Spanish daily at my work, and I sometimes still sing a couple of lines from one of Mrs. Buccola’s songs to remember the right conjugation,” Ou recalled.

Outside of class, Ou was involved in Junior States of America, the varsity tennis team and various community outreach programs. He also remembers some of the deadline nights while working on the Bull’s Eye.

“The stress and fatigue-induced delirium really contributed to our creativity,” he said.

Despite being able to care for patients by using the STEM knowledge that he acquired during school, Ou still uses his experiences and knowledge from extracurriculars, like journalism, in his work.

“We still have to do a lot of reading and writing. Almost every doctor will have written at least one medical paper, [in the] hopes [of being] published.” His experience as an editor gave Ou an upper hand in that regard.

“Being a well-rounded student is important in any career. The skills I gained from journalism helped me write papers that were engaging to the reader, especially regarding traditionally dry topics such as statistics,” he said.