Jacqueline is a recently graduated Human Biology major with a double minor in Psychology and Global Health.
“My career goal is to work in the medical field in an underserved community and participate in public health projects that aid vulnerable communities. I have participated in multiple global health volunteer programs during my undergraduate experience at UCSD, and plan to continue doing so after graduation.”
Jacqueline spent 10 weeks with The Health Frontiers in Tijuana (HFiT) project. 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, caravan immigrants.
As a part of her volunteer work, Jacqueline had the opportunity to work with Dr. Burgos and Dr. Ojeda. This 10 week program centered on cultural competence and awareness of prevalent medical conditions in Tijuana. Her role at the clinic consisted of patient interaction, recording medical history records, patient admittance, recording patient vitals, inputting records to EMR, scribing and shadowing doctors.
“All volunteers including myself would take time to debrief our experiences and form a discussion surrounding the cultural and social factors that impact patients' health.”
Overall, Jacqueline had an amazing time with HFiT. She attributes this to the fact that she has family in Mexico and Tijuana and has had previous experience serving populations similar to those that come to the HFiT clinic.
She also notes that she gained valuable memories with every patient she interacted with.
“Every patient I interacted with taught me a unique lesson about life, appreciation, strength, perseverance, and compassion. There were times patients made me laugh and cry. It is indescribable how people who have little to nothing, are still willing to give to express their gratitude and appreciation. I truly admire everyone I met at each clinic, and I will cherish all the memories and friendships.”
In her free time, she organized the clinic's pharmacy and categorize donated medications. She also took this time to speak with patients, or play card games.
“This allowed me to connect with our patients at a personal level.”
Outside of her time with HFiT, she served as a Public Health Coordinator for Flying Samaritans. Flying Samaritans is a non-profit student run organization that facilitates monthly free clinics in Ensenada, Mexico. Flying Samaritans provides free medical, dental, and educational services to underserved community members who don't have accessible medical care or ability to afford medications. As a public health coordinator, she facilitated health and educational projects at the clinic sites.