“When I get older, I want to provide a mentoring program with youth of color to build a bridge between patient and doctor…. Through HEAL, seeing doctors of color, who look like me, made a huge difference.”
OAKLAND SCHOOL FOR THE ARTS | HEAL, HIGHLAND HOSPITAL
You can be book smart, but if you can’t connect with your patients then you won’t be a good surgeon.
In the HEAL program we talk about the mental and social health issues and the different health disparities within Oakland. When I get older, I want to provide a mentoring program with youth of color to build a bridge between patient and doctor.
I can’t see out of my right eye and I’ve had a lot of surgeries growing up. I think that it has shaped me to learn to adjust and speak up for myself. It made me interested in medicine at an early age. It is also why I’m an artist—I was automatically pushed away from sports and other activities.
When I started HEAL, I was nervous that I was at a disadvantage. I realized that it wasn’t one or the other—art or medicine—because I still put a lot of focus into my art even if I don’t want to do it as a career.
I have learned that I want to be a doctor. Growing up, I felt that the connection between doctors and patients is often broken. I don’t want to dumb down or not share the full information with teenagers. Doctors don’t want to disappoint their patients, but I think it is also important to be realistic. Through HEAL, seeing doctors of color, who look like me, made a huge difference.