Julie Lin, POD ’18, has accomplished—and overcome—a lot in her 29 years.
She holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in biomedical engineering as well as a doctorate in podiatric medicine from Temple’s School of Podiatric Medicine (TUSPM). And she also helped design and patent a medical device that received FDA approval earlier this year.
Finding her footing
Now in the third and final year of her surgical residency, Lin’s academic and professional success, while immense, hasn’t been without its obstacles.
“I am bilaterally hearing impaired,” Lin explained, meaning she’s experienced hearing loss in both ears for nearly her entire life. “I’ve worn hearing aids since the second grade,” a fact which has resulted in some challenges.
“Even in podiatry school I’ve hit a couple of rough patches,” she said. "For instance, I can’t use a stethoscope. Hearing aids don’t work with a stethoscope.”
Despite such hurdles, “I persevered,” she added, acknowledging, “it’s very rare to have a hearing-impaired surgeon in this world.”
An engineer’s eye
Citing her hands-on experience in biomedical engineering, Lin said she was drawn to podiatry due to its tangible nature.
“There are 28 bones in one foot,” she explains. “If any one bone goes out of place, you are mechanically off balance. So, [podiatry] just makes sense for me, coming from an engineering standpoint. The mechanics of it make sense.”
In fact, Lin’s engineering experience recently converged with her medical work in one of the young doctor’s “most memorable” professional moments.
During a vascular rotation as a medical student at Temple University Hospital, Lin was able to see MANTA, the device she helped design at a start-up company, in action.
A first-of-its-kind device, MANTA allows for the quick, safe and reliable sealing of large femoral puncture sites following procedures such as a transcatheter aortic valve replacement or heart valve replacement through remote access in the hip region.
“Knowing that 90% of startups fail, I didn’t think I’d see the product again,” Lin said. Seeing the device being put to use “was a shining moment.”
A leg up
Drawing inspiration from her parents, who emigrated from Taiwan before she was born, Lin founded the Philadelphia Chapter of the Society of Asian Scientists and Engineers and has worked closely with the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia, representing young Asian professionals.
“It’s a passion of mine to give back, to help pave the way for younger generations and leave a lasting impact."
—By Lauren Hertzler, KLN ’13, and Dutch Godshalk