Resident Profile: Peter Soh, M.D., M.P.H.

Posted on May 24, 2021 by Lindsay Lyle
Lindsay Lyle

Peter Soh, M.D., M.P.H. data-lightbox='featured'
Peter Soh, M.D., M.P.H.

Peter Soh, M.D., M.P.H., was once an options market maker at the Chicago Board of Trade. Now, he’s heading to Connecticut to begin a neurology fellowship in headache and facial pain.

“My path to medicine was not straightforward,” he said. “Every step along the way God always put me in the right place at the right time.”

Soh was interested in business and majored in economics as an undergraduate. With encouragement from his father, he went on to earn a Master of Public Health degree with a focus on health management and policy from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. 

After graduate school, Soh moved to Chicago and worked as a management consultant in healthcare for a few years. Next to his office stood the Chicago Board of Trade, his favorite building in the city. “I dreamt about working on the exchange floor,” he said.

Soh, who always had an interest in the markets, took a risk of his own. He left his consulting job and joined a proprietary trading firm. He eventually became a professional options market maker in the art deco structure he admired – the Chicago Board of Trade building. 

While advancing in the business world, Soh realized he wanted to be on the clinical side of healthcare.

“I anticipated that these skills would be helpful for managing the healthcare environment as a physician, so that’s what prepared me for the shift,” he said. “After gathering all these skills and experiences, I finally had the opportunity to start my journey in medicine.”

In 2013, Soh entered the University of South Alabama College of Medicine. During medical school he developed an interest in neurology and had the opportunity to attend the USA Neuroscience Symposium and the American Academy of Neurology’s annual meeting. 

After earning a medical degree in 2017, Soh started residency training in neurology at USA Health. 

“I am constantly pushing myself to think outside the box and not just rely on algorithmic care,” he said. “In order to be a competent neurologist, you have to develop really good history taking and physical exam skills. In the inpatient setting, there are many neurological emergencies that I have had to handle such as stroke, status epilepticus and autoimmune conditions.”

As a fourth-year chief resident, Soh has had three case reports published, including a COVID-19 case that was cited several times. He said he is grateful to Dean K. Naritoku, M.D., professor and chair of neurology; professors Bassam A. Bassam, M.D., and Paul Maertens, M.D., and other faculty members who have taught and guided him throughout residency.  

“I am also thankful to USA for providing me an enriching and valuable experience through medical school and residency, and I hope to do things in the future that make USA proud,” he said. 

In July, Soh will begin a fellowship in headache and facial pain at the Hartford HealthCare Headache Center in Hartford, Conn. 

“Headache is a fascinating area of neurology that’s often put under an umbrella of one diagnosis when in fact there are many different primary headache disorders,” he said. “Each patient can also have their own regimen of effective treatment, so the permutation of therapies is great.”

Soh expressed his gratitude to his parents, both physicians, for their support on his long and challenging but rewarding path to becoming a neurologist. He follows in the footsteps of his parents and grandfather, a physician who helped develop the field of parasitology in South Korea in the 1960s. 

On a personal note, Soh said his greatest accomplishment is marrying his wife, Safina, a pathologist. The couple safely married amid the pandemic, after an eight-year long-distance relationship. 

Outside of work, he enjoys outdoor activities including running, cycling, golfing and swimming. He also likes trying new foods and cooking meals for his parents. 

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