I started as a pre-med major at Pomona College. However, the academic success I achieved in high school did not translate I had to relearn how to approach academics. A large influence on my change was my experience with Building Leaders on Campus (BLOC), an organization predominantly comprised of men of color to develop our leadership potential. This organization developed me as a leader and gave me a foundation for understanding what it takes to lead a team. I started this organization as a freshman, and devoted a large amount of my time to it by fundraising, organizing diversity-centered events and developing it into a self-sustaining entity that comprises at least thirty students every year. This was my first opportunity to act as a conduit helping people in my community learn more about taking care of themselves. I helped build a safe space for students who felt marginalized and silenced. Like the way I wanted to help people in my community with their health issues. It gave me the leadership and interpersonal skills needed to become a physician.
I entered a rigorous graduate program to become a more competitive applicant. While in school I volunteered at the Ronald McDonald house also while working 20 hours a week as a server and 20-30 hours a week performing research. This taught me how manage my time well like how I would need to in medical school. Volunteering at the Ronald McDonald House allows me to experience numerous disparities firsthand and to build a personal connection with families whose child is undergoing long term care. This is the difference between treating the symptoms and considering the factors that may cause them like ethnicity, environment, and socioeconomic status. This work I can bridge the gap between treating a patient and treating the person. It allows me to see a side of healthcare that I feel is missed.
Pomona's interdisciplinary approach gave me the opportunity to learn about the sociological determinants of health, about how disconnects between doctors and their patients are anything but rare, and about how these disconnects can be improved through cultural competency. This mixed with the leadership skills I gained with BLOC fueled my desire to become a physician. By combining these skills with the understanding that I gained from my coursework of the sociological structures that influence health outcomes in those same communities, I will be a leader in my community who will educate others. I want to communicate between the unaware and the informed to decrease these disconnects in my future community.
In the future, I would like to work in a hospital that caters to low socioeconomic populations, much like Ben Taub hospital, and volunteer at free clinics. I would like to influence medicine so that I will be able to cater to communities like my own and improve health outcomes among minorities. I am drawn to primary care because it will allow me to bridge disconnects between underserved communities, patients, like Guillermo, and their doctors. I am confident that my ability to communicate empathetically with people from various backgrounds will be beneficial in an intensive care setting. I am excited to dedicate myself to a career as a physician serving the underserved, eagerly awaiting the opportunities and challenges ahead.
Undergraduate Degree: Pomona College - Bachelor in Arts, Neuroscience
Graduate Degree: Drexel University - Master of Science, Biomedical Sciences
Graduate Level Biology
High School Biology