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Roberto Flores – Medical Student

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What is your current title and role?

I’m currently a second-year medical student at UC Riverside School of Medicine

2. Where did you grow up?

I grew up in Lynwood and Victorville, California

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

The medical school does live by its mission statement in that it embraces diversity and inclusion to the fullest regard. It’s a school that makes me immensely proud to be attending and couldn’t think of any other place that would fit me better.

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

I am a first-generation high school graduate, first-generation college graduate and now I’ll be the first doctor in my family. I’m also a former college student athlete who started his academic pursuits at a community college, and so I had to overcome the stigma and challenges that these come with. 

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

My family is definitely my strongest support system and their resilience is what fuels my drive to be the best future doctor I can possibly be. 

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

My most memorable experience has been serving as a lung health officer at the Riverside Free Clinic where we get to provide free medical services to the underserved. 

7. Please share a memorable teaching moment.

I honestly think that all teaching moments have been memorable in some way. It’s a constant reminder of all the things that I don’t know, which also serves as inspiration to keep on learning. 

8. Please share a highlight from your practice/current role.

A highlight of mine in my role as a medical student is seeing how grateful and receptive patients have been to me at clinic or rotations at the hospital. 

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

I dislike the role of insurance in medicine and how it’s less about taking care of the patient and more so about tests that these insurance companies think that the healthcare practitioners should run. It’s strange to have patient care dictated by someone who is not involved with the patient.

10. What are three things that you are grateful for?

My family, friends, and having the privilege of studying medicine. 

11. What excites you outside medicine?

I really enjoy being outdoors, so I’d say backpacking, playing soccer, and running long distance. I also like playing chess. 

12. What advice do you have for students interested in healthcare?

Believe in yourself in times when things aren’t so linear because that’s how this process could be. On the other side, however, it will be very rewarding. 

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

Never lose sight of why you started this journey in the first place, and keep the core of whatever makes you happy close. Staying focused and determined is also highly important. 

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

To become involved with pipeline programs at their respective schools and constantly follow up with people they want to work with. 

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

Understanding that all students have different ways of learning, some students may not have access to a lot of resources and providing students with a mentor is immensely helpful.