As an MD/MPH student from the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, New Mexico, I am humbled and honored by the opportunity to take care of patients. Because of my eye-opening, tear-inducing health care experiences in rural and urban New Mexico, it is obvious to me that medicine is my calling.
I look forward to fighting the gaps and injustices in our health care system and advocating for a prevention-based model where health care is a basic human right, not just a privilege. I wish policy makers and insurance companies could see what I have seen. I wish these unknowing, upstream decision makers could look into patients’ eyes like I have and tell them that they will not be able to receive necessary health services or medications because of their inability to pay. After witnessing tears roll down patients’ cheeks, would policy makers finally understand the impact of their decisions?
I would like to thank Julie Bohan, MD, MPH, who is the Medical Director at the Sandoval County Detention Center and the Addiction and Substance Abuse Program in New Mexico, for being my mentor and hero. It is rare to find a physician with her level of intelligence, empathy, thoughtfulness, thoroughness, and passion for teaching the next generation of physicians.