Every month, we’ll get to know one of the Student Tech Leads!

Erina Horikawa

Class of 2024/Tri-Cities


When I believed in Santa Claus, I asked for wings (like bird wings ) for Christmas one year so I could fly. I remember planning out how to fly places without being seen. I was sad when I didn’t get them, but I think I got over it pretty quick because I got something else I wanted.

What’s your pre-med school technology background?

My background is pretty basic—I knew enough to be efficient through undergrad. (Yay, Google docs!) I used statistical programs like Mathematica and SEER stats, as well as iMovie and Final Cut Pro (I’ve been getting into video and photo editing apps on my phone). I also helped my family with a lot of basic computer stuff, setting up Wi-Fi, etc.

What’s your favorite app? 

It’s a tie between Complete Anatomy (formerly 3D4Medical) and Notability. I used to use OneNote, but I enjoy the user-friendliness of Notability. Also, I found 3D4Medical Complete Anatomy to be quite helpful for anatomy lab.

What’s the best part about being a Student Tech Lead? 

I enjoy supporting faculty during lectures and helping lectures run smoothly. I also realized that I don’t have to be a computer guru to be a student tech lead—I didn’t previously apply for similar positions because I thought I wasn’t “techy” enough. This isn’t true: I’ve learned that the desire to help is enough, and you can always learn new things!

How do you plan to incorporate technology into your practice as a physician? 

My partner is a software engineer who works for a company that’s developing an app to digitize the mini-mental status exam. This data also can be used to track efficacy of treatment or for research. I’m sure there are many other things in medicine that is starting to become digitized. If funding allows I would love to have these kinds of gadgets in practice!

More practically, I would like to learn as much as I can about how electronic medical records can be used most efficiently in practice. I think it’s possible to make EMRs work more to our advantage.

Aside from technology, what do you nerd out over? 

Public transportation systems in different cities. I was born and raised in the Tokyo area, so I never had to use a car. I love navigating Seattle-area transportation. I’m so excited that they’re expanding the light rail! I pity America for not having a more expansive rail system—just IMAGINE taking a bullet train from New York to Seattle!

What is your number 1 tech tip for med students or faculty?

Explore and try new things. I feel a lot of tech problems can be solved by trial and error. And even if something goes wrong, there’s always a way to fix it. I also think asking for help is equally as important.

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