Wherever I was needed most
By Angela Li, ’17 (Biomedical Computation)
I first met Yvette* when I was assigned to be her interpreter during a routine appointment, and we talked for over an hour on our way out of the clinic. She opened up to me about her struggles with depression, and I listened as she shared her story: crippling loneliness as a recent immigrant, financial woes, an absent husband. We also connected over our shared love of Oaxaca, Mexico, her hometown, and at the end of our conversation, she was in better spirits, even a bit hopeful. As she thanked me profusely, I was delighted to see her genuinely smile for the first time that day.
As a Community Health Advocacy Fellow, I have had the privilege of getting to know people like Yvette while volunteering at MayView, a community health center that serves local low-income patients. During weekly shifts, I would help wherever I was needed most: as an interpreter, doing intake and vitals, or even comforting children as they were getting their blood drawn. In addition, I helped develop an online patient portal and customize it to the needs of MayView patients. This entailed not only applying the community health principles I had learned in the classroom, but also working with individual patients, teaching them how to use this tool and empowering them to proactively manage their health.
I look forward to caring and advocating for underserved patients in the future as a physician.
*Not her real name