Grad profile: Solving the mystery

Khoi Dao, Medicine

- May 30, 2023

Khoi Dao. (Provided image)
Khoi Dao. (Provided image)

This article is part of a series focusing on the grads of the Dalhousie Class of 2023. Spring Convocation runs from May 29 to June 7 in Halifax and Truro. Read all our profiles here as they are published, and for more information visit the Convocation website.

For many, the undergraduate education experience is an exciting opportunity to encounter new subjects and discover interests previously unknown. It is a time to further delve into areas of interest and determine what studies engage you most. Some, like Class of 2023 graduate Khoi Dao, find a great deal of interests and have the daunting task of searching for a rewarding career that encapsulates them all.

Khoi, who discovered a love of core sciences while completing his Bachelor of Science at the University of New Brunswick in Saint John, also developed an appreciation of how societal changes like policy, movements, and the COVID pandemic, can impact an individual’s quality of life. For Khoi, medicine is the thread that links a passion for advocacy, science, and wellness together.

“Although complex, medicine is one of the careers where I can integrate all these interests into a career. It is a rewarding challenge to be able to use my passions to help improve others’ well-being.” 

Problem-solving parallels

Choosing this career path seemed like a natural decision for Khoi, though he did find inspiration from a classic literary character.

“As a kid, I loved Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle,” says Khoi. “I read it in Vietnamese and then, later, in English. I loved the character’s ability of observational skills, critical thinking, as well as problem solving; all thanks to Doyle’s crafty ways."

As Khoi learned more about the titular character’s famed methods of observation and deduction, he noticed the iconic methodology of Sherlock was parallel to the diagnostic process studied by both he and Doyle.

New problems, new solutions

Khoi’s inspired journey to medicine has not been without challenges. Like many recent graduates, he has faced the unknown and unexpected landscape of healthcare in a global pandemic. With much of the in-person curriculum disrupted, Khoi and the Class of 2023 learned to adapt and accept the educational norms remarking with “new problems come with new solutions.” It is with this cheery determination that Khoi tackled the challenges of clerkship and fatherhood throughout a pandemic.   

When reflecting on the ups and downs of the last four years Khoi joked, “It takes a village to raise a child, but it takes villages to ‘raise’ a doctor.” Both phrases uniquely apply to Khoi and his wife Dr. Grace Dao, graduate of the Class of 2021 and second year family medicine resident. The pair welcomed Ernest shortly after Dr. Dao’s graduation in 2021 and Howard in the Fall of 2022. Though there were lots of bumps in the road Khoi is grateful for the support of his family, DMNB faculty, and peers. 

Looking to the future, Khoi is excited to begin a family medicine residency in Saint John where he will be a co-resident with his wife. The pair hope to pursue family medicine practice in Grace’s hometown of Sussex, New Brunswick. 


All comments require a name and email address. You may also choose to log-in using your preferred social network or register with Disqus, the software we use for our commenting system. Join the conversation, but keep it clean, stay on the topic and be brief. Read comments policy.

comments powered by Disqus