By: L.N. Reklai

March 6, 2017 (Koror, Palau) With a day and half remaining on his very short vacation back home, a young Palauan doctor is spending the time encouraging young Palauans to aim high, to reach for higher goals in life.


“I was just like these young Palauans now, I went to same schools, lived in same neighborhood, and had same financial resources like them and so if I can achieve my dream, so can they. I hope they see themselves in me and realize that they too can aim high to achieve their dreams,” stated Dr. Uchel.

Dr. Toribiong Uchel, a 28 year old son of Uchel Sechewas and Nglodch Luii, graduated in June of 2016 with High Honors and became an MD, and is currently attending his first year Internal Medicine Doctor at the Wayne State University School of Medicine in Detroit, Michigan and as Resident Doctor in Detroit.

Asked what he saw as a major challenge to his success when he moved to the US, he replied, “Despite culture shock, I was able to adopt.  It really is more of a mental challenge than anything.”

On challenges young people face today that may keep them from reaching for higher goals in life, Dr. Uchel stated, “Peer pressure is the biggest obstacle young people face that can lead them away.”

On opportunities, Dr. Uchel said, “It’s an eye opener to know that out of about 30 doctors in Palau, only about half are Palauans.”

Dr. Uchel wants to encourage more young people into medical careers but he added that there are many other career fields and opportunities for young people to achieve.

He insists that reaching those dreams is achievable. “If I can reach them, others can do as well,” he added. [/restrict]