On Being Hispanic

Honestly speaking, the Hispanic population in St. Louis is quite small. There are one or two Hispanic students per class and you don’t see many patients who speak Spanish. However, you can make it work for you. I decided to volunteer as an interpreter at Casa de Salud, a health clinic for uninsured immigrants just a MetroLink (light rail) stop away from the medical school. Not only do I get to practice my Spanish with the patients, but I also get to learn about the process of diagnosing and treating a patient while being fully engaged in the patient-doctor relationship. It is a very fun and relaxed way of understanding how to become a physician. And even though there are few Hispanic students, we do get together every so often to have Hispanic food and complain about the cold weather. Having been born and raised in Puerto Rico, there is always an adjustment when it comes to wintertime. At the beginning of the year, you might feel that your group of friends does not consist of the usual Latin people that you knew in high school and college but you will soon realize that your classmates are amazing, smart, interesting, and culturally different people from whom you will learn how to become a well-rounded physician.

— Amarilys F., M1