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Marilyn Corrales – Medical Student

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What is your current title and role?

I’m a medical student at UC Riverside School of Medicine who will graduate in June 2024.

Where did you grow up?

I grew up in San Bernardino in Southern California.

Tell us about your professional (medical, nursing, allied health, etc.) school?

I attended UCLA for college.  I am currently in UC Riverside School of Medicine.  

Tell us about struggles and challenges in achieving your goal and how you overcame?

I was raised in Nicaragua and came to the states at the age of 12. My immigration status was a significant barrier during college and before starting medical school. I obtained my green card three years before medical school.

Please share with us about your family and your support group?

My family, especially my mom, is my number one support system. My mom is my hero.

Please share a memorable experience from your training that has stayed with you till today.

My most memorable experience during my training was when a patient acknowledged and recognized my participation in providing care and improving the patient experience.

Please share a memorable teaching moment.

Ultrasound and imaging fascinate me. I was in awe when I learned all the things you can visualize to prepare for treatment and surgery.

Please share a highlight from your practice/current role.

I love going to clinic and learning about a disease a patient had. It makes the studying more interesting. Learning from people inspires me to learn more.

What do you like and dislike the most about working in healthcare?

I love people. I love helping patients feel better with my knowledge and skills. I do hope healthcare, in particularly surgical specialties, provide paid maternal/paternal leave. I hope medicine values the experiences that comes from raising a child and that pregnancy becomes a strength not a weakness or detriment to training.

What are three things that you are grateful for?

I am grateful for everything in my life. God loves me very much and gave me a great family, good health, and good relationships. My life has had ups and downs, and a lot more downs, but one thing that has kept me going is focusing on the process not the end goal. Medicine is a long road, but I have enjoyed every process. The people you meet throughout the journey, including the people who inspire you and the people you inspire. I am grateful for all the interactions I’ve had with so many people and patients. The people who you least expect inspire and teach you the most.

What excites you outside medicine?

I have a passion for home remodeling and cooking. I have learned to cook all different kinds of dishes. Food brings people together and I love cooking for others.

What advice do you have for students interested in healthcare?

Shadow as much as you can and find out why healthcare interests you. Keep your why front and center. If you have a “why”, the “how” becomes bearable.

What do you think the student of today needs to be successful in matriculating and graduating from professional school (medicine, nursing, allied health, pharmacy)?

Perseverance and grit.

How would you advise or guide students to develop leadership skills, community outreach experience, research opportunities and clinical shadowing?

Be proactive and be passionate about what inspires you and what your interests are. Leadership skills, community outreach experience, and research opportunities will come from that passion. Everything falls into place when you follow your passion.

How can we support and guide students to achieve good grades and be successful in standardized exams?

Practice does make better students and better test takers.