In 2006, I began studying at the Latin American School of Medicine in Cuba on a full scholarship. I took classes for 7 years and did one year of residency.
It was difficult for me to leave El Salvador and be away from my mother, my sister, my relatives, my friends – and everything I knew. At first it was very challenging but once there, people adopt you as if you were their daughter who they never had. A support network was especially helpful given that a degree in medicine is so demanding. But with a lot of effort and dedication, I was able to move forward.
In February 2017, I started working for the Natural Medicine Clinic at ANADES. I primarily provide health care check-ups and follow up care to the children at the Child Development Center. I also handle any emergencies the children have on the playground or if they get sick at school. I also provide health care to the children’s families and community members. I really enjoy working with the children and their families.
I like my profession a great deal. I am often mistaken for being a nurse just because I am a woman. One elderly male patient I had insisted that I was not the doctor because he did not know that women could be doctors! We have a long way to go to break down stereotypes and demonstrate that women are just as capable as men. This International Women’s Day, I am taking a stand for women by saying: I’ll be bold and challenge gender bias and inequality.