American Dreams: Beyond Med School

Each life is of EQUAL value, and I BELIEVE my ‘American Dream’ is helping equalize the healthcare field. I BELIEVE EVERYONE deserves access to medicine. I will bring medicine to many, especially those in marginalized and disenfranchised communities because I grew up in those communities. It is only right that I go back into those communities to serve them. In my efforts to serve as a culturally competent physician I purposely took on  opportunities, which challenged me academically, professionally, and personally. On my  journey I found all of my experiences facilitating in my growth as a future physician to assess patients holistically, rather than their medical diagnosis. My mission to tackle the challenges of healthcare, starts with serving the various needs of our people. I BELIEVE in the POWER of COMMUNITY. Join me in helping change the face of healthcare and fulfill the needs of our communities.

Thank you for your time, your generous donations, and most of all your words of encouragement. Together WE CAN make our communities healthier and stronger!

My Story:

I will be applying to medical school June 1, 2018. I'm pursuing medicine because I personally know the frustrations and challenges of financial circumstances, cultural disconnect, and language barriers preventing loved one from gaining access to medical services.

At 16 yrs old I watched my mom work 2 jobs to make ends meet while I became my father’s support system: picking up prescriptions from the pharmacy, driving him to doctors’ appointments, translating doctors' orders, and navigating the insurance process which was inhibiting further access to physical & psychological therapies. Confusion and frustration became familiar emotions when doctor’s offices and insurance billers rejected my dad from accessing necessary therapies for his physical  disabilities. Our financial hardships only magnified our challenges when my dad developed mental illnesses as we continued to suffer without adequate medical coverage. It paralyzed me to see my dad endure new lows of physical and psychological well-being, and in those moments, I  felt scared and helpless. In hopes of changing my situation at home, I enrolled in college to better educate myself on the issues we face in healthcare today.

Throughout my studies at San Francisco State University (SFSU), I found empowerment by channeling my personal frustrations through increasing access to medical care for others through the Student Health Advisory Committee and MEDLIFE. Empowered to drive change, I led of both of these organizations as president by advocating for greater access to resources, locally for students and clinicians on the SFSU campus and internationally for the impoverished Peruvian people in Lima, Peru. I'm driven to increase access for diverse populations, especially within immigrants, first-generation families, and working-class individuals because I AM an immigrant who grew up in a working-class family, the FIRST in my family to GRADUATE from college, & will be the FIRST to pursue MEDICINE.  These experiences solidify my continuous commitment to serving the communities that need it the most, and I know my experiences with diverse communities will drive my work as a clinician.

As I continue to pursue this path to become a physician, the people I serve are a reminder of my family’s hardship with the  healthcare system. As a future clinician, I know my commitment to provide more equitable healthcare for disenfranchised and medically-underserved communities starts with fostering culturally-competent relationships. I intend to use medicine as my platform to advocate and provide personalized medical care for patients, & subsequently their communities. I believe that my  personal experiences through advocacy and empowerment in healthcare brought me on this journey to medicine. What started out as obstacles with my father led me on my path to empower myself as a leader and as his daughter.

Admission Test: $565
        Medical School Admissions Test - $315
        Practice exams - $250

Applications (30 MD schools + 10 DO schools): $5,940
30 MD primary applications: $160 processing fee * $39 per school = $1330

30 MD secondary  applications: ~$100*30 schools = $3,000

10 DO primary applications: $195 processing fee * $45 per school= $610

10 DO secondary applications: ~$100*10 schools  = $1000

Med school interviews: ~$5,000
Cost of round trip flights, room and board, & food

HIGHLIGHTS FROM college / post graduate
The following are major milestones so you have faith your investment in me is an investment in a healthier tomorrow for ALL of us.

2017 - 2018:  
Manuscript writing to publish research in Ecology, Evolution, and Conservation Laboratory, SFSU

Medical Scribe for pediatric physician at Augmedix, San Francisco

Residential Advisor and mentor for Summer Math and Science Honors Academy for Level Playing  Field Institute, hosted by UC Berkeley

President of Medicine, Education, and Development for Low Income Families Everywhere (MEDLIFE) and organized weeklong medical brigade to Lima, Peru

Undergraduate Biology Honor nominee by the Biology Department Faculty for 2015’s Graduating Class, SFSU

Undergraduate Researcher in Ecology, Evolution, & Conservation Lab and secured Instructional Research Grant to fund research,  SFSU

Field Research Assistant in the Cloud Forest of the Amazonian slopes  of the Andes (Manu National Park, Peru), sponsored by the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund

SFSU scholarships secured:  Bengier Foundation University Scholar ; ASI’s Jenny Chang Memorial Student Scholar ; SFSU’s Alumni Association Student Scholar

Research Assistant for Effectiveness of a Student-Led Diabetes Self-Management Education Program for Adults with Type 2 Diabetes at Arbor Free Clinic, Stanford, CA

President of Student Health Advisory Committee and organized 2 community health fairs, SFSU

 SFSU’s Alumni Association Student Scholar

President of Student Health Advisory Committee, SFSU

 Health Careers Opportunities Program Scholar and received Citation Award for Outstanding Poster Presentation in Critical Reading and Research Course, Stanford School of Medicine’s Center of Excellence


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Kirsten Liaz 
Elk Grove, CA
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