Lupita Medrano is a FACES Oakland alumnus, Class of 2011. Lupita was born and raised in Oakland, California. She graduated from the University of California, Santa Cruz in 2015, obtaining a Bachelor of Arts degree in Feminist Studies with a Concentration in Science, Technology and Medicine. Lupita is currently in her first year at A.T. Still University School of Osteopathic Medicine in Arizona. She chose A.T. Still University for the school’s focus on community health and commitment to serving the underserved. She was accepted as a Hometown Scholar with the intention of returning to Oakland in the future in order to serve the community as a physician.
A.T Still University partners with the National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC) and implements a “1+3 Model.” This allows students to spend their first year of education on the school’s campus in Arizona and their next three years in 1 of 16 partnered Community Health Centers (CHCs) and hospitals in underserved communities across the United States. This partnership and model exposes students to some of the countries most vulnerable populations as well as allows students to begin patient interactions as early as their second year. Lupita was granted her first choice of placement in Chicago Illinois where she will learn medicine in an urban underserved community similar to her own.
Lupita identifies as a hood scholar, an agent of change, a community advocate, and a healer. As a nontraditional medical school applicant, Lupita worked a multitude of community roles before applying. Some of which include scribing at a CHC, medial assisting at a detention facility, sexual assault crisis counseling, and program coordinating for a youth internship that catered to first generation students of color interested in medicine.
In the future she would love to work in a CHC, a public hospital, a detention center, or a juvenile detention center. She plans to continue to dedicate her career to serving people of color, low – income populations, unhoused populations, incarcerated populations, victims of violence, sexual assault survivors, undocumented populations, and at risk youth. She is interested in primary care, specifically Obstetrics & Gynecology, Family Medicine, Adolescent Medicine, and Pediatrics.
As a medical student Lupita is currently fulfilling a work study job as an ambassador for the Office of Diversity & Inclusion as well as a mentor through the Strategic and Intentional Mentoring Program (SIMs).
Lupita writes, “My overall goals include serving underprivileged communities through health practice and health education, advocating for female leadership roles, promoting the diversification of the medical field, as well as supporting the educational success of youth in the Bay Area. One of the ways I contribute to the achievement of these goals currently is through the work I do at CHAMPS as the Student and Program Support Services Coordinator. One of the ways I hope to achieve my goals in the future at a larger capacity is through a career in medicine as an OBGYN. It was on a FACES rotation at Highland Hospital – on the labor and delivery floor – that I solidified my goal of becoming an OBGYN. FACES helped me narrow my broad interest in medicine and surgery into a specific health profession. Participating in FACES allowed me to experience multiple ‘once in a lifetime’ opportunities that a young brown girl from Oakland could have never imagined possible, such as witnessing childbirths, pediatric surgeries and numerous patient-provider interactions. On top of having the unique privilege of stepping foot in clinical settings alongside medical professionals who sought to inspire me, most important is that I’ve been provided with lifelong mentors through the FACES staff and founders who genuinely care for me and believe in my journey – Young Kim Parker, Shanta Ramdeholl, Simone Jennings, Dr. Tomás Magaña and Dr. Barbara Staggers. Every Monday and Wednesday of programming, these individuals provided me with a workshop space where I was made aware of the strength in my unique position in society and made aware, for the very first time, of just how much of an asset I was and could grow to be for my community. FACES has instilled in me the importance of advocating for and empowering my community. I love my community and I know for certain that my purpose in life is to be of service to others. With an immense passion for community health and health education, I feel I can do that best through a formal career in medicine. FACES/CHAMPS has guided this realization and continues to assist its development from dream into reality.”
Lupita’s advice to other FACES students, ” Take what you receive from FACES and give it back to your community. “