Miriam Becker, MS1Hometown: Baltimore, MD
Undergraduate School: United States Naval Academy
The mission of the PRIME-TIDE program resonated strongly with my motivation for going into medicine — service. A desire to serve led me to a career as a Naval Officer before leading me to medicine, with the goal of serving the Indigenous community. Growing up, and throughout my career and travels, I was often surrounded by stark disparities in healthcare access and level of care, and witnessed the medical mistrust systemic inequity causes in disenfranchised communities, particularly Indigenous communities. I realized what a massive unmet need there is for physicians from underserved/underrepresented communities, who understand their challenges and can work collaboratively to provide compassionate, culturally sensitive care. I believe the PRIME-TIDE program is giving me the best possible preparation to be one of these physicians, by providing the training, mentorship and community engagement opportunities to better understand and address healthcare disparities, specifically in Tribal healthcare. Being in PRIME-TIDE has surrounded me with an outstanding and supportive community, and I am honored and excited to be part of the program and its mission of transforming Indigenous healthcare.
Kiersten Gabaldon, MS1
Hometown: Albuquerque, NM
Undergraduate School: Occidental College
I chose PRIME-TIDE because I am passionate about the program’s mission to promote health equity in AI/AN communities. As a Latinx and Native American student from New Mexico, I personally saw how socioeconomic, cultural, and geographic barriers limit healthcare access for Native populations. Given a one-month prognosis at fourteen years old, I experienced firsthand the consequences of these healthcare barriers, as the costs and availability of medical resources determined my lifespan. When I unexpectedly recovered within a year, I became determined to increase access and affordability of healthcare in underserved communities like my own. Prior to joining PRIME-TIDE at UC San Diego, I worked at an international consulting firm where I learned to integrate medicine, business, and technology to improve healthcare access on the patient and systemic levels. The PRIME-TIDE program understands the value of interdisciplinary collaboration by providing a dual degree education focused on cultural humility and community partnerships to address the public health challenges confronting Native communities. With a network of renowned mentors, community leaders, and like-minded peers, I am excited to empower AI/AN patients and combat systemic inequities.
Daniel Maldonado, MS1
Hometown: Chula Vista, CA
Undergraduate School: University of California San Diego
I chose PRIME at UCSD because I wish to empower underserved communities and contribute to the lessening of health disparities. My experience volunteering has allowed me not only to give back to my own community but also to become better acquainted with other communities. I believe that by uniting people from different backgrounds and different perspectives, we can foster allyship and leadership to bring equitable and affordable healthcare to all. My experience volunteering at the UCSD Free Clinic, Palomar Hospital, and the Migrant Shelter in downtown as well as my perspective coming from a bilingual household and watching my Mother navigate the health system as an English learner has affirmed and strengthened my desire to work collaboratively within and between our communities to increase access, emphasize prevention, increase education, and improve equity.
katie Mostoller, MS1
Hometown: Kennewick, WA
Undergraduate School: University of Washington
Being Cherokee has shaped not only the way I conceptualize health, but also how I view my role as a future health professional. I revere my responsibility to provide care, education, and advocacy for the community that has aided my development as an Indigenous scholar. Throughout my life, I’ve enjoyed being involved in intertribal communities and programs dedicated to their advancement such as First Nations at University of Washington, University of Utah’s Native American Research Internship, and the Summer Health Professions Education Program. I care deeply about my people and their health, and when it is my turn to serve them as a physician, I want to be able to provide the exceptional care they deserve. PRIME-TIDE is providing me with the tools and experience to contribute to health and healing in Native communities.
linnea Rohdin-Bibby, MS1Hometown: Portland, OR
Undergraduate School: University of San Diego
My decision to pursue medicine is driven by my commitment to serve communities that have historically had resources divested from them. Throughout my undergraduate years in San Diego, I spent much of my time working with local communities in their elementary schools and in a community garden. Located in a food desert, the community garden clearly highlighted inequities in the choices available to communities and the impact of this on their health and wellbeing. In PRIME-TIDE (Transforming Indigenous Doctor Education) I am grateful to be in an environment where I am encouraged to pursue my passions and re-define how we understand and practice healthcare, particularly as it relates to the needs of our Native American communities. I know that this is just the beginning to a lifelong career in learning how to uplift and advocate for my patients.