Carlos Antonio Garcia Tovar is a recently graduated Global Health minor.
“I was born to a family of farmers, and my home is Mexico where I grew up in an area where the people have low access to resources and health disparities are well noticed. I immigrated to the United States by myself to follow the American Dream and now have graduated from UCSD with a B.S. in Physiology and Neuroscience with a Minor in Global Health.”
Carlos has volunteered with The Health Frontiers in Tijuana (HFiT) project for the past two years. Health Frontiers in Tijuana is a NGO binational student-run free clinic that provides free medical service and consultations to patients of vulnerable populations in the Tijuana region. It is operated by UCSD and UABC School of Medicine (Mexico). The population our clinic serves are underrepresented, have low socioeconomic status, and have limited to no access to medical health care. The majority of our patients identify as homeless, deportees, migrants, or caravan immigrants.
Over the course of his volunteer experience with HFiT, Carlos learned a variety of activities that are integral to the clinic's operation. These include: registering patients in the Electronic Medical Record, managing patient records, soliciting patients' chief complaint, assisting in vitals measurements, and shadowing consultations.
Carlos recognizes that it is a privilege to have trust between people, and that it is difficult for some people to trust others when they are in a vulnerable position.
“This organization obtains that trust from the people it serves and does it for the better good. It is an honor to put into practice many concepts I have learned in my Global Health classes and observing the development of an NGO in person. I realize I have grown myself in leadership, team working and organizational skills.”
When Carlos there was downtime at the clinic, he enjoyed getting to know the patients so they can feel more comfortable.
“Not only does speaking with patients help time to fly while they wait to be seen by a physician, but this patient interaction is also a way of getting to know more than just the individual’s diagnosis.”