I am very invested in alleviating health inequities within underserved communities, particularly for young women of color. In college, I was an HIV test counselor, started an HIV testing program in a free clinic, was a sexual health counselor for students, and was a coach for an after school program dedicated to empowering middle school girls to be change agents in their own communities. I also conducted research with incarcerated young women exploring their primary health concerns and presented my findings at a national conference.
I took three years off prior to matriculation at medical school. During that time I conducted research as a Clinical Research Coordinator in one of the largest adolescent health centers in the country. The study explored the prevalence of HPV and the effectiveness of the Gardasil vaccine at preventing oral, cervical, and anal HPV in an underserved clinic population. I am currently a reproductive health specialist at Planned Parenthood, where I am a hybrid between a medical assistant and health educator. Our clinic serves a primarily low income and uninsured population (many of whom are undocumented). In my role I am responsible for clinic intakes where we take a medical history and vitals, I do pregnancy options counseling, venipuncture/injections, and assist with procedures.
While my grades are not phenomenal, I think a large part of my success this cycle was due to my experiences outside of the classroom and the exposure I have had to a variety of patient populations. Interviews were a great opportunity to demonstrate what tangible skills I have gained from these opportunities. For example, I have gained experience discussing difficult topics such as domestic violence, abortion, and sexual exploitation with clients and patients.
Please feel free to message me if you have any questions about the process, it can be quite daunting and I am so appreciative of the support I received along the way, more than eager to pay it forward!