17 and a Half Questions with Dr. Sophie Chung

We ask inspiring people 17 and a half questions. Sophie Chung is a former ER doctor, current healthcare innovator with her startup Qunomedical. She shares her perspective on working in the pandemic, the ups and downs of the start-up life and trash TV

Dr. Sophie Chung from Qunomedical

1. What I like about my job

With Qunomedical, people can find the right doctors and clinics worldwide to get quick, safe and affordable treatment – from dentistry to orthopedics to cardiology, we have the right specialists in our portfolio. It's not uncommon for us to help pave the way for a new life: mental and physical health are the most valuable assets we have. I am amazed every day, again and again, that we can really help so many people.

2. What sometimes frustrates me

I get frustrated with naysayers. People who always start by telling you what can't be done instead of working together on finding the big solutions.

3. My secret dream job

It wouldn't be so different from Qunomedical: if I hadn't founded it, I'd probably be a doctor without borders.

4. Best strategy to survive a really bad day at the office

I remind myself of my hardest days as an ER doctor. Compared to that, a bad day at the office is a piece of cake.

5. How I get into the flow

Deadlines are known to work wonders – in my case too, because I function best when I feel a certain amount of pressure and have a clear goal in mind.

6. Biggest success so far

To have taken Qunomedical this far since its launch five years ago makes me proud, and motivates me every day.

7.  Biggest defeat

Essentially, the start-up life is marked by many small defeats (though of course, there are also great successes in between). Even though they may seem like the end of the world at first, they are ultimately just part of the process of getting better and better.

8. Worst buzzword

I think the term "Corona winners" is awful. Sure, there are companies that have gained momentum in the current situation. But we are still in the middle of a pandemic that is taking far too many lives. There are no winners here.

9.  Best reward after a hard week at work

After a busy week at work, I spend time with my family and my little daughter. And whenever I get the chance, I watch trash TV, my absolute guilty pleasure. I'm convinced that these shows are actually large-scale social experiments that I enjoy watching.

10. Home office or in-house

I have been working from home since March 2020 – like the rest of us. As pleasant as it is that I don't have to leave the house in cold drizzly weather, I look forward to when I can be back in the office. In the meantime, I’m really missing the interaction with the team and the hustle and bustle.

11. Most important traits a colleague/business partner must have

A good heart is the most important thing for me. People work very closely together, especially in a startup: you have to deal with turbulent times, and you go through thick and thin together. No matter how great the expertise, if the chemistry isn't right, things get much more stressful than they need to be. 

12. My creative hack

It sounds almost old-fashioned in our digital world, but pencil and paper are my favorite tools for getting creative. For me, it works best in the middle of the night.

13. First website to check in the morning

The first thing I do is check Instagram, where I find the perfect mix of news from around the world, beautiful pictures, and messages from my friends and acquaintances. To avoid ending up in the infamous rabbit hole, I've recently started using Not Less But Better to make my cell phone use more conscious.

14. Favorite digital tool

I don't know what I would do without Google Maps... But all jokes aside, Bunch.ai is an AI-based leadership app that makes you a better leader in just 5 minutes a day. 

15. The book or series from which I have learned the most for my (work) life

The Hard Thing about Hard Things by Ben Horowitz is a book I highly recommend. The title itself contains a message that seems obvious, but that you have to keep reminding yourself of over and over again: Nothing comes out of thin air, and success is something you have to work hard for.

16. A series, book or podcast I can recommend to anyone

I'm a news junkie and I generally listen to a lot of news podcasts to stay up to date. Apart from those, I would especially recommend Rice and Shine, a podcast by two Vietnamese-German journalists about growing up and living in Germany as immigrant children. The pair tell us what it was like, and what it’s still like for many, in a funny and non-accusatory way.

17. Most prominent follower on a social media channel?

I'm a big design and fashion fan, so I love that Gen Sadakane (@sadakane_gen), Founder and Creative Director of BerlinPhotoWeek and @blogger_bazaar follow me. Curiously enough, Andhara Early Astrawinata (@andharaearly), an Indonesian TV star, also follows me.

17 and a half: What always...

… gets me excited are the mountains and the sea. Pure nature always releases a feeling of peace in me.



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