PRIME MS2s

  

 Erin buckner

 Hometown: Benicia, CA



For as long as I can remember I have watched my mom, a counselor in some of the most under-resourced school districts in the Bay Area, help students to overcome unimaginable circumstances. At a young age I was exposed to the realities within communities outside of the suburban bubble my family called home; in which people who looked like me, in area codes differing by no more than one or two digits, would lead lives that could not look more different. Witnessing the firsthand consequences of systemic barriers to education and, later, barriers to health, made the decision to pursue a career in medicine an easy one. PRIME-Heq provides the opportunity to continue learning beyond the classroom, engaging directly with communities themselves. I chose UCSD PRIME-Heq because I knew it would train me to become not only a well-rounded physician, but also one well-equipped to advocate for the populations that need it most.
  

 Ivan A. copado 

 Hometown: Riverside, CA

I grew up in an immigrant household where education was the key to a better life and that better life was meant to give back to community and people who helped paved the way for you. It was due to this feeling of duty and the encouragement of family friends, students, and peers that I pursued a career in medicine. When choosing the "right" program for me, I looked for one that was situated in a location surrounded by a diverse population, with languages ranging from English and Spanish to Mandarin and Tagalog. An established Free Clinic System supported and ran by the Medical School and an administration and faculty willing to support paradigm shifting ideas from their students. I found all of this at UCSD PRIME-HEq. At UCSD, I could impact change in a population I hope to one day serve while supported by faculty and staff. I am surrounded by amazing people who each bring perspectives and experiences that enrich my own. And, I am granted the opportunity to obtain an education that will one fay enable me to give back to my home and community.
  

 Star huynh

 Hometown: Milipitas, CA
 

I chose the UCSD PRIME-HEq program because its mission aligned with my own. I was confident that it would help me become a physician better able to recognize the needs of the community and provide superb and humane care for all patients. As a daughter of Vietnamese refugees, I have experienced and witnessed the struggles faced by many minorities. Being a low income first generation college student has allowed me to sympathize with the countless barriers faced by individuals due to socioeconomic status, race and ethnicity, and language. It has also helped me begin to identify barriers to the basic right of healthcare. As an undergraduate, I volunteered with Team HBV to provide medical education outreach to local communities. This work made me realize my need for a formal education to be of true service to the community. Through the PRIME-HEq program, I hope to learn the necessary skills to become an advocate for patients whose voices are not often represented.
  

 Patrick Loehr

 Hometown: San Diego, CA

San Diego is a multicultural border city that is home to numerous ethnic and social medically underserved communities, including immigrants, refugees, English-language learners, and individuals who identify as LGBTQ+. My participation in PRIME-HEq is my individual commitment to fight disparities in healthcare that systematically disenfranchise vulnerable populations. Additionally, the program's inclusion of a Master’s degree offers me the chance to better integrate my interests in education into my future practice of medicine. As a nontraditional medical student with over a decade of experience as an educator, and with strong interests in mentorship and advocacy, a program like PRIME-HEq is highly attractive to me.
  

 Chelsea Maduike

 Hometown: Santa Clarita, CA

I remember learning about social/structural determinants of health for the first time during my undergraduate career. This new knowledge was a paradigm shift in how I viewed health. I knew I wanted to go into medicine due to my family’s experience with healthcare, but there was a growing sense that I would be unable to effectively care for my patients without recognizing the various factors affecting their health. This led me to research joint degree programs such as PRIME-HEq. While in college, I participated in the Mobile Clinic Project at UCLA which served folks experiencing homelessness and other vulnerable populations. I learned so much from this experience such as barriers to adequate healthcare and the importance of actively listening to a community voice their needs. As a member of the PRIME-HEq family, the skills I acquire will help me provide equitable and quality health care to communities of concern.
  

 Fernanda Pacheco 

 Hometown: Aliso Visio, CA

I decided to join UCSD PRIME after doing HIV and STI research in the Dominican Republic. Learning about the barriers to healthcare faced by many members of the most vulnerable populations - such as MSM, pregnant women, and sex workers - inspired me to pursue an education focused on addressing and overcoming these barriers. I was also attracted to the idea of having a smaller close-knit cohort within the school of medicine and extra mentorship and guidance.
  

 Martina penalosa

 Hometown: Roseville, CA



Through my experiences as a Special Olympics coach, a mobile clinic volunteer for homeless/low-income individuals in West Hollywood, and a tutor and teacher’s assistant an alternative high school for students with disabilities, I formed many close relationships with people from the communities I served. I learned about the hardships many individuals faced such as ableism, racism, and other forms of stigma. While I came to realize that service and community outreach were essential values for me in whatever career I ultimately pursued, my eyes were also opened to the negative impact that social and structural barriers had on the health and well-being of those I cared for. ALL people deserve to be able to access quality healthcare and live healthy lives-- ultimately, I found the most fulfillment in a medical career dedicated to caring for underserved populations, advocating for vulnerable communities, and working towards a more just healthcare system. I believe that the PRIME-HEq curriculum and a Masters in Public Health will help me learn how we can effectively and humbly partner with a community to figure out their health needs and appropriately address them, and how can we promote policies and practices that advance healthy equity for all. I plan to use my knowledge and experiences from the PRIME-HEq program to complement my medical education and help me develop community-based solutions to present and future health care challenges and become a more informed advocate for health equity.
  

 Nyah Rodman 

 Hometown: Oakland, CA



I chose the UCSD PRIME-HEq program because its mission aligned with my own. I was confident that it would help me become a physician better able to recognize the needs of the community and provide superb and humane care for all patients. As a daughter of Vietnamese refugees, I have experienced and witnessed the struggles faced by many minorities. Being a low income first generation college student has allowed me to sympathize with the countless barriers faced by individuals due to socioeconomic status, race and ethnicity, and language. It has also helped me begin to identify barriers to the basic right of healthcare. As an undergraduate, I volunteered with Team HBV to provide medical education outreach to local communities. This work made me realize my need for a formal education to be of true service to the community. Through the PRIME-HEq program, I hope to learn the necessary skills to become an advocate for patients whose voices are not often represented.
  

 Isaac Sada

 




  

 Isaac solomon

 




  

 Shelby Warren

 Hometown: Atascadero, CA



Let me start off by saying that I am so happy that I chose to become part of the PRIME-Health Equity family. My relationship with medicine- and how I view myself as someone who can help make it more equitable- is constantly changing. My initial interest in medicine came from my paternal grandpa who worked as a family doctor in my hometown for decades. He was a physician who would take care of anyone regardless of their ability to pay or social status. He told me that to be a good doctor you had to fundamentally value people regardless of how the system values people. Pursuing experiences that helped me to figure out if medicine was right for me was key to choosing this program. During undergrad, I found great joy and life lessons from volunteering as an interpreter in a free clinic, being a hospice volunteer, working in a community engagement/empowerment program, and doing several jobs including scribing in a rural ER. Now with some of medical school under my belt, I cannot be more amazed at how much I have grown. My understanding of why we see such devastating inequalities in our health care system is much clearer- and alarming. We live in a society that was built upon the interacting forces of racism, colonialism, and capitalism which created a social system where it has become "status quo" to let financial gain exploit people who have the least privilege. Our health care system is an especially sobering example of that, because no matter how good my intentions and goals are to work in under-resources areas, I realize that I am still working in a fundamentally oppressive system. Thus, whereas in past years I aspired to work in "underserved" and "vulnerable" communities such as the free clinics, I now realize that there is nothing "under-blank" or "vulnerable" about the communities in which I will work. Policies that discriminate to create major economic and social inequities are what form disparities, thus to understand disparities we must look critically at policies (without pathologizing people). Shifting my focus to policies has been key to understanding why the U.S has not adopted a universal health care system. I truly believe that non-profit, universal health care policy, while it won't fix all health inequities, is essential to advancing health justice and disrupting the racial capitalism that holds certain groups above or below others. Being in PRIME-Health Equity been key to sharing my passions with others- and more importantly- learning from others. I still have a long way to go.