Natalie attended the 2010 FACES Summer Medical Academy the summer before her junior year in high school. Out of high school, she was accepted into two dual medical programs, one with Boston University and one with UC San Diego. Natalie accepted the offer to join UCSD’s Medical Scholars program. This program granted her acceptance into both the undergraduate school and the medical school. Natalie completed her undergraduate work in three years, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in General Biology with a minor in Global Health in 2015. After graduation, she took time off to intern with the Oakland International Rescue Committee, helping with refugee resettlement. She also volunteered at a hospital in rural Uganda for two months and then came back home and worked in the special education department of her local school district.
Today, Natalie is back at UCSD, finishing up her first year of medical school. During this first year, she has been involved with the UCSD Student-Run Free Clinic which provides healthcare to the most underserved populations in San Diego. At the Free Clinic, she works as a Labs Manager, a Dermatology Clinic Manager, and also helps provide primary care. Additionally, Natalie has become one of the student leaders for UCSD’s branch of the American Medical Women’s Association (AMWA).
As a child, Natalie spent a lot of time at Oakland Children’s Hospital as a patient. It was very special for her to be able to come back and learn about careers in medicine through the FACES Summer Medical Academy. Although still not sure exactly what kind of physician she wants to be, Natalie is especially interested in pediatric sub-specialties. She noted, “Someday I’d love to come full circle and return to Oakland as a physician and help other children.”
Natalie believes FACES did an excellent job preparing her for this journey. During the summer program, they covered gross anatomy, cultural competency, and bioethics. In medical school, they continue to study these subjects, and having that early exposure from FACES made Natalie feel prepared to jump right in.
“FACES really helped solidify my desire to be a physician.” Natalie added, “Dr. Magaña was a great mentor and is a wonderful role model for all aspiring physicians and health care providers.”
Read more about the FACES Summer Medical Academy.