Dr. Mendoza is needed in Spain!

Kimberly Mendoza Start Date: Jun 25, 2015 - End Date: Aug 23, 2015
  • Toledo, Toledo, Spain

My Travel Story

by: Kimberly Mendoza Start Date: Jun 25, 2015 - End Date: Aug 23, 2015
Hello family and friends,

I am raising funds in order to be a part of Atlantis Project's Summer 2015 fellowship program in Toledo, Spain.This fellowship will give me the opportunity to shadow doctor's in the European healthcare system, and will also allow me to experience the culture of a new country. As you may all know, I am now a 4th year student at San Francisco State University pursuing degree's in both Biology and Public Health. When I was six years old, not only did I want to be like E.T., the alien who can heal peoples wounds with the touch of his finger, but a part of me always knew I wanted to become a doctor.

My interest and drive to pursue a career in the medical field has come through personal life experiences, similar to many of you, as I am sure your experiences have made you, or have shaped you, in becoming who you all are. At the age of six, I was already practicing medicine.

Growing up with a Latina mother diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, and a healthcare system where only 2.2% of physicians in California are Latinos (NCLR, 2009), I had to become my mothers healthcare advocate. Because of the language barriers between my mother and her physicians, at the age of six, I was translating words such as "glucose" "insulin" and "life expectancy" from English, to Spanish so that my mother was able to understand. Growing up, I made sure my mother applied her insulin injections at night, and checked her blood sugar levels in the mornings. I also made sure my mother was taking her prescribed medications. 2 of the orange pills  had to be consumed before eating breakfast, 1 white pill that had the number "200" imprinted, had to be taken every two hours, and 1 of the tubular shaped pills where one half of the pill is red and the other half of the pill is white was to be taken at night.

Through the eyes of a six year old child, I observed, and learned that the orange pills made my mother thirsty, and the white pills helped regulate her blood sugar. Although I believe I have been a great doctor and advocate for my mother growing up, I want to be able to advocate and serve underrepresented communities.

During my junior year in high school, I volunteered at the LAC+USC medical center in Los Angeles. There, I witnessed minority patients care was compromised on a daily basis. One of the biggest factors was due to the inability of the doctor to communicate with the patient. During my time there, I advocated and served as a translator for many of the patients just like I did for my mother, only I wasn't six years old anymore. I noticed a level of comfort in the patients every time I would walk into their rooms. The patients felt a sense of relief having someone translating medical information to them, in their native language.

It was a rewarding experience for me, to be able to help those in need. As an aspiring physician, I look forward in serving marginalized communities. Not only will I be serving my patients, but my community members, my neighbors, and my raza. If given this opportunity, I will take full advantage of the knowledge, skills, and experience that this program has to offer. By completion of this fellowship, I will also become a much stronger candidate and competitor in the medical field. With your donation, you will be helping me get closer to my goals. 

Thank you in advance,

  • Toledo, Toledo, Spain