I would like to start by thanking: My family, the Summerhills, Dr. Fong, Ms. Mattern, Dr. Patel, Dr. Miyamoto, Dr. Ochoa, Dr. Walker, Dr. Goode and the Health Professions and Advising Office — you guys are my role models and mentors and without you I wouldn’t be here, so thank you!
My name is Blanca Serna and I will soon be the first doctor ever in my family. I grew up in a medically underserved community in Mexico and witnessed firsthand the damage that not having access to health care can have on a community. From a very early age I knew that I wanted to become a doctor and make a difference in communities like mine.
While working on my baccalaureate in Biology at Cal. State Fullerton, I was able to compliment my studies through volunteer programs that gave me the opportunity to help out my community and underserved communities in other countries. Early on I became involved with the Flying Samaritans where I was able to see the positive impact that my five years of volunteer work had on that underserved community where we provided free primary healthcare. Throughout the years I also became involved with the Global Medical Brigades, Access OC, Corazon de Vida, and other projects offered by the volunteering service center at CSUF. After graduating I also joined the Clinical Care Extender Program, and I’m currently working on getting my certificate of completion from this program.
Although I always had an interest in medicine, I believe that volunteering in all these projects gave me the opportunity to see that the medical field is definitely the environment that I want to work in. I waited to apply to medical school until it was the right time for me and only when I though I had become a competitive candidate. During the application process I had a lot of help and guidance, especially from Dr. Fong and the Health Professions and Advising Office. I would definitely advise everyone applying to seek the help of a mentor and not to be afraid to ask for advice because that will only make you a stronger candidate.
I’m very excited to begin this new chapter in my life. To all those interested in becoming a physician I can only say: NEVER GIVE UP!