Monday, December 12, 2022


My name is Tan Lam. I have been teaching high school math and science for 26 years. Prior to becoming a teacher, I was a research scientist and a graduate student at Dartmouth Medical School working on T cell responses to retroviruses (research & publications). My research was published in many professional medical journals such as American Journal of Medical Genetics, Journal of General Virology, Cellular Immunology, Viral Immunology, and Experimental Cell Research. Collectively, I had ten years of  experience in medical research.

After graduating from Dartmouth Medical School (Dartmouth College) with a Master's Degree in Biochemistry, I went back to my alma mater to teach Science.  My goal was to teach for three to five years and then return to medical school to get a doctorate degree.  That was 25 years ago. I did not go back to medical school. 

Why did I want to be a teacher? As a former refugee and an English language learner, I have received plenty of assistance from schools, teachers, and nonprofit organizations. My teachers went the extra mile to help me. I feel that I owe a great deal to this country and to my teachers. In my opinion becoming a teacher is one of the best ways to repay my debt to America and to honor my teachers. I want to help students who are “average” or at-risk, like I was to succeed in school and be admitted to colleges and to achieve the American Dream just as I have been blessed to have.

As my teaching career winds down, I have begun to think about what legacy I will leave behind when my life has passed.  What is my final dream? In 2019, the Washington State Board of Education approved the Tu Luong Medical Mission Foundation to establish the Seattle Mini Medical School (SMMS), which provides full curriculum for grades 6-12.  SMMS will be a blended learning college preparatory school that focuses on STEM, Medicine, and Medical Mission.  SMMS is designed for students who are serious about pursuing a career in medicine.

SMMS provides a way to expose high school students to the basic science of medicine and clinical skills early on in their education.  Our medical mission will provide students with clinical experiences that instill compassion and help students understand the true meaning of medicine and service.  My final chapter of Dreams from Vietnam is to guide, encourage, and educate the future physicians, dentists, pharmacists, nurses, and other healthcare professionals to have compassion for the poor and needy both locally and globally.

Email is the preferred method for initial contact.  Thank you.

Tan Lam