Meet Medical student Omar Washington
Where did you grow up and complete your undergraduate studies?
I grew up in Portland, Oregon. While earning a bachelor's in microbiology at Portland State University, I was involved with a number of local community groups, including coaching my sister-in-law's girls' softball team.
Why did you choose to study medicine?
I didn't see a lot of physicians who looked like me growing up, so I thought becoming a physician would be a way I could give back to underserved communities. Many people lose their lives from a lack of preventive health care, like my grandmother, who died at 59 from a treatable condition. A physician with the ability to relate to my grandma might have saved her. Being a physician puts you in a unique position: Not only do you get to explore science but also you have the opportunity help people. I am about to finish my second year and am scheduled to graduate in 2012. However, I'm considering taking a year off to pursue stem cell research. Eventually I'd like to specialize in surgery.
What is the best thing about the School of Medicine?
I've had the opportunity to grow and mature as a leader by being at UC Davis. I'm a co-director of the Imani Clinic, one of seven free clinics run by UC Davis students, and I'm the chapter president of the Student National Medical Association. The school has really supported me in developing ideas on improving diversity within health care, which is very important to me.
What's new in your life today?
My wife and I just had our first child, a boy. Our busy household just got a lot busier!
Spring / Summer 2010
UC Davis Health System is proud to be home to medical, nursing, family nurse practitioner / physician assistant, public health and health informatics students and to also be the internship site for pharmacy, nutrition and other programs. Improving the health of our communities requires that we bring together these perspectives, and UC Davis is well positioned to do so.