Steven Chan is a resident physician at the University of California, Davis in psychiatry. He's engaged in health, technology, & design.

A peek into Hacker Lab in Sacramento, plus the appeal of HTML5 as a mobile app platform

Sacramento isn’t well-known for its software development community. But ever since moving into the region, I’ve been surprised to know that there’s a scene with plenty of activity.

Hacker Lab's open lobby space

Take Hacker Lab, for instance. This co-working space and non-profit recently opened in the Midtown district — just 5 blocks from the Blue Line 12th & I Station — and is hosting all sorts of developer events. I attended its Mobile App Developer panel recently, featuring engineers and managers from all sorts of backgrounds. One panelist has even overseen development of Adobe Photoshop; and another recently dropped out of university to forge ahead in the startup world! I’ve included my tweets from the event below, which includes recommendations from the panelists on what to focus on.

Hacker Lab HTML5 mobile app dev panelists

UC Irvine Outreach Clinics website

I created the initial website design for the UC Irvine Outreach Clinics, using Photoshop that was converted into an HTML template for Drupal. The site was initially powered by a stock version of Drupal 5 with multilingual capabilities to target both Spanish and English users (with options to expand to other languages such as Vietnamese in the future). We used a lot of great photography by Denny Le, MD, now a radiology resident physician at the University of Maryland. read more→

UC Irvine Outreach Clinics recruitment flyer

As part of the recruitment process, we needed to get as many physicians in the community and at the University of California, Irvine to help precept and oversee our free clinic. I created these posters to announce the opening of the clinic. This was done in Adobe Illustrator, using paintbrushes to emphasize the art and compassion of medicine. The fabulous models included my friends who were med students at the time, and now are pursuing their dreams: Carlos Rodriguez, MD at Harbor-UCLA; Adrienne Macdonald, MD at Children’s Hospital Oakland; Charitha Reddy, MD at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles; Jody Lin, MD at Baylor; Thuy Can, MD at UCSF & University of Chicago; and Allison Paine, MD at Children’s Hospital Oakland. read more→

UC Irvine Outreach Clinics brand identity & logo

A group of students, along with myself as Publicity Chair, founded the UC Irvine Outreach Clinics in 2008 to bring free healthcare to underserved, uninsured patients in Orange County. This was a massive undertaking, and our services included blood lab analyses, primary care check-ups, a stocked pharmacy with free medications, and referral services. The clinic later expanded to include opthalmology and psychiatry services. We were the first such student group to offer this at the University of California, Irvine, with support from the university and the School of Medicine and School of Nursing.

I created the brand identity in Adobe Illustrator, using paintbrushes to emphasize the art and compassion of medicine, and softening the stick-person into more fluid shapes. I wanted them to appear victorious, holding up a heart — since it reminded me of the passion and energy that drives my friends (especially in the PRIME-LC program for the Latino Community) to work with underserved, underprivileged patients. read more→

Ramit Sethi's top 5 productivity mistakes — and how it applies to docs

(picture of Ramit Sethi's website)

Ramit Sethi, a New York Times-bestselling author and productivity/finance/entrepreneur expert, talks about the 5 productivity mistakes that people make in his latest blog post. Here are my thoughts on how this applies to physicians, along with notes from the video itself since it doesn’t come with a transcript.

Productivity mistake #1: Trying to do it all ourselves

Which to-do items will change your life (e.g. learn how to invest), and which just needs to get done (e.g. empty the dishwasher)? If you rank them all at the same level, you set them up for failure because you can’t do them all. Top performers in the same 24 hours are very clear about where their time deserves to be spent. As you earn more and more, you can trade money for time. e.g. hire someone else to do laundry.

What is one thing you can you outsource today? Each week, pick one thing you can do to save one hour a week.

For me, I can get all my groceries delivered at Or as a physician, delegating tasks properly to other members of the team. I remember one family physician at UC Irvine saying she was overwhelmed with trying to raise her family, be a wife, take care of her patients, and also clean the house — she’s always been the one to clean her house — when she finally yielded & hired a housekeeper.

Resonance business cards

My dilemma: how do I introduce myself when there are so few quirky people who are practicing medicine, writing code, and creating graphic designs? I put a hint of scientific geekery in the form of a benzene ring (which, in organic chemistry, is taught as the quintessential molecule employing resonance as its stability) to also put forth my philosophy of bringing elements together in harmony. And, a little technical geekery in the form of a QR code, although I gotta say, so many people have them on their business card now that I should probably get some NFC cards instead! read more→

Transit Advocates of Orange County publications

For a few years, I played an integral role as part of the Transit Advocates of Orange County in re-making their image with publications to help lobby the politicians to preserve public transit funding and service. These flyers, brochures, and publications helped educate the public & government officials about how transit was actually used and why it was critical for the mobility of commuters, workers & families. read more→

TransitRiderOC Chow

For the website, I wrote a short series reviewing restaurants along OCTA bus lines. This was a fun way to introduce destinations that visitors could access by using Orange County’s public transit system. The maps here illustrated all of the bus lines in the vicinity of the restaurant.

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