​ Vivian Anigbogu

 Hometown: Lake Elsinore, CA
After residency, I plan to work with underserved communities as a physician and a leader in public health. Coming from an immigrant family, I have personally endured some of the challenges—such as limited access to preventative healthcare—that members of these communities also face. Thus, I plan to split my time between working in a hospital setting and organizing community programs to educate patients and inspire them to prioritize their physical and mental health. Additionally, I hope to work with policymakers in order to bring about macro-level changes which will make healthcare more accessible and target health disparities. Through UCSD PRIME-HEq, I receive training beyond the traditional medical school curriculum and participate in longitudinal community outreach experiences which will ultimately prepare me to serve a variety of underserved communities.

 Theresa Asuquo




 Kevin gilbert 

 Hometown: Pico Rivera, CA

I choose UCSD PRIME HE-q due to amazing leadership and opportunities that the program offers. The previous leadership, Dr. Linda Willies-Jacobo, and the current leadership with Dr. Luis Castellano and Katherine Garcia support their students dreams and ideas. Also, UCSD PRIME HE-q has an extensive alumni and mentor program in which previous students that have gone through medical school and residency give real world advice on how they navigated the journey of medicine.

 Mihiri karunaratne

 Hometown: Sunnyvale, CA

I am excited to be part of UCSD PRIME-Health Equity because it’s providing me with a space to learn how to advocate for justice along side a future in medicine. I studied Public Health at UC Berkeley and worked as a Medical Assistant for a private ENT practice in San Francisco during my gap year. I have a background in reproductive justice work and have always been interested in finding a role for myself at the intersections of social justice and healthcare. Beyond the incredibly valuable opportunities PRIME provides to learn about health disparities and gain the clinical skills to work with underserved patient populations, it also pushes me to envision my role in changing the institutions involved in healthcare provision and education. It has given me a supportive community of peers and mentors, who challenge me to think critically and validate my experiences while pushing me to become a better prepared physician. Through our PRIME program, I feel certain that we will become physicians who are well positioned to make an impact on the inequities around us, both within and outside of medicine.


 Annie Kaufman

 Hometown: Portland, OR

I was drawn to PRIME because of the opportunities to work with other passionate, community-minded medical students and mentors. As an undergrad at Stanford, my most impactful experiences involved mentorship and community health. Serving as a counselor for the Stanford Medical Youth Science Program, volunteering at free clinic, and working at the Women’s Community Center informed my interests in medicine, health equity, and women’s health. After graduation, I worked as a Course Associate in Human Biology and loved teaching a range of social science topics from evolution to child development to health policy. The intersections between biology, health, society, and policy have always excited me, and I am eager to continue learning throughout my career. 
In PRIME, I have loved getting to know classmates and doctors committed to community health work – through free clinic shadowing, ambulatory care apprenticeship, volunteering, and events. These experiences are helping me gain the skills I need to advocate effectively for my patients and use my medical training to address health disparities and improve health outcomes. I am also excited about the opportunity to pursue a master’s degree as part of PRIME. I loved exploring public health topics in undergrad, and I’m excited to dive into these topics further and develop skills for serving patients and communities both individually and at a public health level.

 James Lui

 Hometown: San Francisco, CA

I choose the PRIME program because of my experiences working alongside and learning from underserved communities. After finishing college, I had the privilege of living in Central America for six months, where I saw firsthand the effects of American foreign policy intervention and immigration policy on communities in Guatemala, El Salvador, and Southern Mexico. After returning to the US, I grew more interested in learning about the ways in which policy can affect people's lives, including their access to fundamental resources like healthcare, nutrition, and housing. To that end, I pursued a Master's in Health Systems and Public Policy at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. While there, I had the opportunity to conduct my dissertation fieldwork in Northeast India, where I evaluated barriers to healthcare access affecting individuals enrolled in Meghalaya State's social health insurance program. After finishing the dissertation and the Master's, I wanted to apply what I had learned to issues back home. Therefore, I returned to the States and completed a year of service with the National Health Corps of AmeriCorps as a Diabetes Education Coordinator in an underserved Federally Qualified Health Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  My time in AmeriCorps, as well as my prior experiences with underserved communities both at home and abroad, have reinforced one thing: that the roots of disease often extend far beyond the body. I have learned that viruses may propagate illness just as polluted neighborhoods, food deserts, or un-walkable cities can. Moreover, I have realized that great inequalities in wealth, education, and healthcare access often breed those illness-promoting environments in the first place. That is what drew me to PRIME-HEq. I am convinced that the program will enable me to gain the knowledge, skills, and connections that will allow me to serve as a physician who strikes at the fundamental roots of disease in underserved communities, whether they lie deep within the body or permeated throughout broader society. 

 Brendan McIntyre



 Kimberly Parra-guerrero


 Edgar Vega 

 Hometown: Escondido, CA

Having been raised in the conditions that I now seek to improve, it was very easy for me to commit to a program who's focus is health equity and developing leaders that are passionate about these issues. Through various life experiences, it became apparent that a physician cannot dissociate a person's health from external factors of their life like their socioeconomic status, race, education levels, etc. These are all inherently intertwined. This was exemplified when my dad developed Type II Diabetes, yet refused to receive care because not only did he lack health insurance, but he also had an enormous language barrier to overcome. I felt that at UCSD PRIME, examples like this would be common and they would challenge me to think more critically about how I can be an ally for certain patients. Lastly, I was drawn by the incredible staff that are extremely supportive about pursuing our passion. They always go above and beyond any help I could anticipate. It is one of the best decisions of my life and I am very tankful to be a part of this community.

 Vanessa yu  

 Hometown: Arcadia, CA

I chose the UCSD PRIME-HEq program because it aligns with my commitment to social justice and my desire to combat health disparities. As a daughter of two immigrants, I’ve always been drawn to the diversity of different cultures, all of which have shaped my idea of an inclusive community. This appreciation for the diversity of each group and individual has instilled in me a moral obligation to be an agent of social change, driving me to amass extensive experiences serving my community and abroad. From working at health screenings for Hepatitis B to helping at a clinic in Peru, I’ve come to understand the impact of social determinants on health. The perspectives I’ve formed working with the underserved in Los Angeles and abroad along with my minor in human rights at USC, have cultivated a holistic view of health and cultural competency. The PRIME-HEq program provides me the foundation and platform to continue working with underserved populations while also equipping me with the skills and community necessary to undertake this social justice endeavor. The flexibility to customize my experience in medical school under the PRIME-HEq program to my interests with children, preventative measures, and the underserved community will connect me further with the tools and expertise to help dynamic populations. With a family in PRIME-HEq, I hope to emerge as a compassionate and empathetic advocate, educator, policy-maker, leader, and physician ready to give back to communities.