UC San Diego Physician-Author Turns Nightmare Childhood into Book of Dreams

Survivor of Cambodian “Killing Fields” Speaking Out to Inspire Others

June 25, 2009  |  

When she was five years old, her family was taken by gunpoint and forced into slave labor in rural Cambodia.  At seven, members of the Khmer Rouge decapitated her father.  At 16, through sheer willpower, Sopheap Ly, now an associate professor of medicine at UC San Diego, made it to the United States.

To have survived a life such as Dr. Sopheap Ly’s is victory enough but she is using her position as an opportunity to inspire others.  In her new book, No Dream Beyond My Reach: One woman’s remarkable journey from Cambodian refugee to American MD, this first-time author shares a story of the brutal takeover by the Khmer Rouge in the early 1970s.  The book, available this month, details how Ly lived through this trauma and turned survival into success.

Ly’s father often said he hoped she would work in the medical field. “The drive to realize that dream is what kept me going,” said Ly.  “His legacy gave me a strong constitution and the ability to withstand hardship.”

Last year, Ly became an assistant professor of medicine at UCSD and a physician at the VA San Diego Medical Center. She works with war veterans suffering from PTSD. “I’ve loved education all my life,” she said. “This job is very important to me.”

# # #

For interviews, please contact:

Dr. Sopheap Ly, sopheaply@gmail.com

Kim Edwards, 619-543-6163, kedwards@ucsd.edu




Media Contact

Share This Article


Related News

9/10/2019
UC San Diego researchers say that measuring how quickly a person’s pupil dilates while they are taking cognitive tests may be a low-cost, low-invasive method to aid in screening individuals at increas ...
9/5/2019
The San Diego Center for AIDS Research (CFAR) at University of California San Diego has been awarded planning grants to help the federal government achieve its goal of reducing the number of new HIV i ...
9/3/2019
A new University of California San Diego School of Medicine study links changes in the gene for the protein focal adhesion kinase, or FAK, to ovarian cancer’s ability to survive chemotherapy.
9/3/2019
CARB-X, an international funder of efforts to fight antimicrobial resistance, is awarding up to $15 million to develop a strep throat vaccine based on original research at UC San Diego.



Follow Us