A fourth-year UC Davis medical scholar has been awarded a scholarship from Nationwide Medical Fellowship to conduct analysis on group psychological well being within the Central Valley.

Jacqueline León
Jacqueline León will conduct analysis within the Central Valley

Jacqueline León, who goals of turning into a psychiatrist, will use the grant on a analysis mission. She’ll examine the psychological well being wants of Mexican-American households, particularly immigrant dad and mom whose youngsters are raised in the USA.

“This mission will have a look at how this tradition mitigates antagonistic psychological well being outcomes, or optimistic psychological well being outcomes, in Latinx, rural communities,” she mentioned.

Nationwide Medical Fellowship is a nonprofit group dedicated to “disrupting racisms in medication,” partly by providing hundreds of thousands of {dollars} in scholarships to college students underrepresented in medication and boosting range in medical analysis. 

León is a part of the inaugural group of students from throughout the USA to obtain funding from the group’s Well being Fairness Leaders Program. This system seeks to supply significant alternatives for college students to discover well being fairness service, scholarship, management and advocacy.

A detailed connection to Central Valley communities

The analysis mission is an ideal match for León.

The Fresno native desires to determine her profession within the Central Valley, and her medical schooling has ready her properly. She is a part of the college’s SJV-PRIME pathway (which has now transitioned into an identical program known as REACH), which gives college students with in depth medical expertise within the San Joaquin Valley. After she graduates in Could, León is hoping to enter a psychiatry residency program.

Earlier than beginning her fourth 12 months in medical college, León was actively contemplating doing analysis within the Central Valley. Three  college mentors inspired her to hunt alternatives and  helped her deal with particular objectives: Ruth Shim, who’s affiliate dean of Numerous and Inclusive Training; Jorge Garcia, who’s affiliate dean for Numerous and Inclusive Studying Communities; and Andres Sciolla, a professor within the division of Scientific Psychiatry.

However León had no thought how she would afford the endeavor – till she realized of the Well being Fairness Leaders Program and utilized for the grant, which gives $12,250.

“So many stars have aligned for me on this mission and what I hope my profession will grow to be,” León mentioned. 

Regarding immigrant households like her personal

Jacqueline León, in black graduation cap and gown, stands with her mother in front of brick building at UCLA
Jacqueline León, proven along with her mom, at her UCLA grasp’s diploma in public well being commencement in 2016

She is going to conduct analysis to sort out well being disparities within the Central Valley below Principal Investigator Rosa Manzo of UC Merced, a mission scientist with experience in group engagement.

“I can relate to the expertise of so many immigrant households, like mine, who’re unable to entry preventive medical care,” León mentioned, “both as a result of they’ll’t afford it, or resulting from their immigration standing, or as a result of they’re working so onerous that it doesn’t cross their thoughts.”

A lot of the analysis might be achieved via a federally certified well being heart in Madera County, Camarena Well being. León will assist arrange focus teams to interview group well being employees referred to as promotoras, who will inform her about particular psychological well being wants relating to the inhabitants they work with.

León mentioned the analysis mission speaks to the “why” she desires to be a doctor. And it has lots to do along with her upbringing in Fresno and Tulare counties: She will be able to relate to the expertise of so many agricultural employee households, like hers, who face boundaries to care.

“We didn’t go to pediatric well-child visits,” León mentioned. “We got here from a household that solely went to the physician once you’re dropping a limb, or you possibly can’t breathe – excessive acuity emergency conditions.”

Profitable journey to medical college

She graduated from Bullard Excessive Faculty in Fresno, studied public well being at UC Berkeley and enrolled within the UC Davis Faculty of Medication Postbaccalaureate Program, which prepares latest faculty graduates to use for medical college.

However as a substitute of setting her speedy sights on medical college, León selected to attend UCLA for a grasp’s diploma in public well being, which bolstered a well being schooling profession she had began years earlier in educating the group about vital matters – similar to hypertension and diabetes – within the Bay Space and Tulare County.

“I used to be raised in underresourced communities, so I’m properly conscious of varied well being inequities and disparities,” León mentioned. “That’s what motivated me to pursue a profession in public well being.”

UC Davis was her best choice for medical college, partly due to the college’s deep concern over coaching extra college students to grow to be medical doctors within the Central Valley, which faces a extreme scarcity of suppliers in comparison with extra city areas.

León has begun preliminary work on the Well being Fairness Leaders analysis mission.  She expects the analysis to show her extra about psychological well being wants so she can assist form providers and insurance policies to profit the group when she’s a psychiatrist.

“This award is an accumulation of all the pieces I’ve achieved, which has been centered round group and social justice,” León mentioned. “That is just about the beginning of turning into a group psychiatrist.”


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