What is your current title and role?
I am currently about to enter my 4th year of medical school. I will be deciding soon what residency to apply to.
Where did you grow up?
Hesperia, California in the high desert area.
Tell us about your professional (medical, nursing, allied health, etc) school?
UC Riverside is a community-based school. Many of us who attend there have some kind of tie to the Inland Empire such as family or personally growing up nearby. We do not have our own hospital, so we have our clinical experience at the different hospitals in the region like Riverside Community Hospital, Riverside University Health Systems, St. Bernardines, Loma Linda to name a few.
Tell us about struggles and challenges in achieving your goal and how you overcame?
My dad passed away in my first year, I pushed through and was able to pass, but later I still felt the after affects in my family and in myself. I made a tough decision during the beginning of my third year to take some time off for myself and come back with a better mindset.
Please share with us about your family and your support group?
I am the 6th out of 9 siblings, all from the same parents. Our ages range from 19 to 43. Hence I have many forms of support and many different perspectives whenever I am struggling with a decision or situation. Family has always been my rock, so I usually turn to them for advice.
Please share a memorable experience from your training that has stayed with you till today.
Once on a labor and delivery shift my residents had me mainly checking in on a Hispanic couple in their room because the residents did not speak Spanish. Every time the residents came in to do an evaluation, the husband who looked even more nervous than the wife would ask me what they said and if everything was looking okay. The delivery took about my entire shift. I did not think the delivery would occur during shift, but I let the couple know I would stay and be there to help deliver their baby. Once my shift was over, they were still pushing so I decided to stay the extra 2 hours and I was able to deliver the baby with the resident’s guidance. Afterwards, the parents were so happy and relieved and the father gave me a hug.
Please share a memorable teaching moment.
In my time off, I personally learned about how you can do your best to help someone in need but if that person does not want to participate in that help, then there will be no progress. So, effort is needed on both sides.
Please share a highlight from your practice/current role.
A highlight is being able to see different fields to get an idea of what you would like to do in your future.
What do you like and dislike the most about working in healthcare?
I like that there are many different fields you can be in, all with different aspects, so I feel like there can be a place in healthcare for anyone who is interested and puts in the work. I do not like seeing issues of where we fall short of providing quality healthcare, whether it is due to insurance issues, not having resources, etc.
What are three things that you are grateful for?
I am grateful for being alive, having the support of my family, and having resources I can turn to in need.
What excites you outside medicine?
Cooking, working out, relaxing.
What advice do you have for students interested in healthcare?
I would say really think about what you would like to do and what would fulfill you. Research the fields you are interested in and see what is needed to not only get in but to finish and succeed. Some fields are more time commitment heavy; some are more hands on, just see what fits with you.
What do you think the student of today needs to be successful in matriculating and graduating from professional school (medicine, nursing, allied health, pharmacy)?
They need to be able to search out resources or be able to find mentors to help them succeed. They also need to have resilience for when times are tough because it is a long journey. They need to have a maturity to be able to put in work when it is needed so that they can set aside time for self-care and fully enjoy that time.
How would you advise or guide students to develop leadership skills, community outreach experience, research opportunities and clinical shadowing?
I would advise them to look into finding mentors that they can learn from, contact programs and faculty that they can ask for opportunities.
How can we support and guide students to achieve good grades and be successful in standardized exams?
We can give them guidelines on how to set up a successful study schedule and environment to succeed.