Current Rural-PRIME students
Meet our students!
|Chelsea Gong – Hometown: Visalia, CA - I have grown up among several rural communities and I have gotten to know the people who work in these towns and cities to provide for themselves and their families. As a primary care physician, I want to have relationships with my patients that go beyond coming in to the office once a year for a check up. By practicing in a rural area, I believe that I will be able to serve the hard-working people who live there as well as be able to build strong relationships with my patients in order to serve them in the best way possible. In the future I hope to practice family medicine in a rural area of California, possibly specializing in geriatrics.||back to top|
|Alexa Calfee - Hometown: Davis, CA - I grew up in Yolo County on the edge of Davis, CA. I chose Rural PRIME because I want to practice in a rural community as a general practitioner. I want to manage a small clinic and develop outreach programs for the community in which I live. Ideally I would also like to be able to work abroad for part of the year- running clinics or public health outreach programs.||back to top|
|Daniel Hernandez – San Diego, CA - Working with underserved and rural communities greatly motivated me to pursue a career in medicine. I believe Rural-PRIME will enrich my medical education by providing me with the appropriate tools to serve rural communities and to help decrease health disparities in these areas. In addition, I am excited to incorporate innovative technologies such as telemedicine into my practice in primary care, and to learn in a small group setting. In the future, I hope to provide primary care (family medicine or pediatrics) to underserved and rural populations.||back to top|
|Emanuel Jaramillo – Hometown: Live Oak, CA - Growing up in a small farming town and having to travel long distances to receive high quality healthcare has impacted my motivation to pursue a career in rural medicine. Communities located in rural areas tend to have limited access to healthcare, causing many families to slip through the cracks. As I saw during my clinical experiences abroad, many individuals ended up with medical conditions that, if caught early, could have been prevented. Through telemedicine training and close interaction with rural mentors, I feel that Rural-PRIME will be able to provide me with the skills needed to become an influential physician leader who will help address these health disparities. I believe my passion to provide compassionate and high quality healthcare to some of our most vulnerable populations aligns perfectly with the mission of Rural-PRIME. I look forward to the opportunity to rotate through different rural medical sites during Year 3.||back to top|
|Melanie Koppula - Hometown: Turlock, CA - While working in a rural hospital near my hometown, I recognized the need and limited access of high quality health care in underserved areas. Through this experience, I felt inspired to pursue a medical career that emphasizes care for underserved populations. I was drawn to Rural-PRIME because the opportunity to receive unique clinical experiences, training in telemedicine and the option to pursue an MPH degree would offer me the skills and education to properly address the pertinent issues of the localities I hope to practice. In my future clinical practice, I plan to address and advocate for the needs of underserved and vulnerable communities through public health education and tailored patient care. I feel confident that Rural-PRIME will equip me with the necessary knowledge to create a positive change in the communities I serve.||back to top|
|Emilie Halbach, Hometown: Santa Barbara, CA - Rural-PRIME offers the extended training that a rural physician is likely to employ in the absence of urban resources. This training will give us the confidence to go forth as rural physicians, and to tackle whatever weird scenario unfolds. I am excited to receive all the training I can, and to be prepared for anything! I hope to be of a positive influence to my patients, as well as the community in which we live—if this is achieved via a general practice, or emergency care, or obstetrics, or surgery, I hope my practice can alleviate stress and worry from their lives, and enhance their quality of living.||back to top|
|Kari Kompaniez, Big Bear Lake, CA - Being raised in a small mountain town where there are limited health care facilities and professionals as well as, working with underserved populations in both the States and abroad, I became acutely aware of the shortage of physicians practicing in underserved communities. This inspired and motivated me to pursue a medical career that centered on working in underserved areas. As more medical programs strive to educate future physicians about the importance of practicing in underserved communities, I anticipate that clinical care will be more readily available in underrepresented populations. I expect that this will only be enhanced by changes to health care policy to make health care easily obtainable within the States. As a prospective physician who intends to serve these communities, I hope I will help make this vision a reality.||back to top|
|Julia Lonhart, Hometown: Los Altos, CA - California is a diverse state with every patient population deserving equal access to the highest quality care. There is a real need to realign health and quality care. The shortage of primary care doctors – who serve as the frontline for addressing social determinants of health and their impact – is endangering the entire healthcare system. This problem is compounded in rural areas. However, with such challenges come the opportunity for change and improvement, which I see as a promising opportunity for personal growth and a meaningful career.
I want to develop the tools that link health and society and serve as platforms for the discussion and development of patient-centered and community-based care. In times of intense change –health care reform, the recent recession and current political climate – vulnerable populations are most at risk. I hope to serve as a bridge between research, practice and policy, to improve the access of rural patients to high quality care while limiting the burden on the healthcare system
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|Eva Montes - Hometown: Modesto, CA - Through Rural-PRIME, I hope to foster my cross-disciplinary thinking and growth into a culturally competent physician while providing the foundation and skills necessary to address policy, research and healthcare for the underserved. Rural-PRIME provides me with an opportunity to join the pioneering role of UC Davis in telemedicine and work with rural populations to address the shortage of physicians and lack of access to care in those areas. During my time in the Program, I plan to earn a Master’s in Public Health; this unique dual degree program will allow me to become proactive early on in my medical education and supplement my desires to practice health education and preventative medicine in the rural underserved communities I come from while developing my role as a physician leader in my community.
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|Angel Moran - Hometown: Watsonville, CA - I grew up in a rural community and experienced the difficulties that prevent rural residents, mostly migrant farmers, from accessing and fully utilizing the available healthcare services. As a physician, I plan to return to my community, serving rural agricultural towns that are in need of a culturally competent physician who will understand and address the healthcare concerns of patients. Importantly, I plan to address the geographic health disparities that prevent people of rural communities from accessing specialized healthcare. I will accomplish this goal by providing my patients with the telecommunications technology needed to contact specialized physicians who are located in distant cities. Rural-PRIME will provide me with tools that enable me to take a leadership role in my community where I intend to not only treat, but also educate patients on healthcare issues that are common and unique to these communities.||back to top|
Fiona Scott - Hometown: Davis, CA- As a future physician leader, I hope to practice medicine in a rural primary care clinic in Northern or Central California. Through my graduate research on farmworker health and my time as co-director of a clinic, which serves a large farmworker population, I have developed a comprehensive understanding of the challenges accompanying life in a rural area. In addition to providing health services in the clinical setting, I hope to use my public health knowledge and experience working at the Knights Landing Clinic to establish health education classes, after school tutoring, mentorship for teens and other public health efforts to further empower the community.
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|Michael Robbins, Hometown: Paradise, CA - Growing up in rural California has shown me that there are large disparities in the care available to rural populations. Since I plan on returning to a rural area for my practice, I believe that Rural-PRIME will provide me with a solid foundation and the tools necessary to confront these issues and close the gaps in rural health care.||back to top|
|Leona Shum - Hometown: San Francisco, CA - After moving from an urban center to a small rural town to teach for two years, I had a chance to experience the dramatic contrast of lifestyle between urban and rural communities. I hope to continue to learn about the intricacies of the rural communities and also serve as a bridge between rural and urban communities. I want to open a clinic in a rural community to provide accessible and high quality medicine to the local population. But beyond providing direct care, I hope to work with community members to build infrastructure and legislation that will prevent illness and promote healthy living for the community and its future members.||back to top|
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