Yelennia Palacios

MSL, MSIV, UC Irvine School of Medicine, PRIME-LC, LMSA National External Policy Chair

My name is Yelennia and I am a current medical student at UC Irvine School of Medicine. Throughout my undergraduate and medical education at UC Irvine, I have sought opportunities to enhance my development of becoming an effective physician and leader in the health care community. I have been a part of organizations that promote health care equality and justice by serving impoverished and underserved communities that lack adequate access to medical care, usually due to unemployment or undocumented status. The pervasive injustices I have observed led me to pursue the dual degree program, Program in Medical Education for the Latino Community (PRIME-LC). This has given me the opportunity to broaden my knowledge and skills both within my discipline of medicine and across other disciplines. As such, PRIME-LC created a platform for me to provide care to California’s Latino community by improving health care access, providing culturally sensitive care, and targeting causes of health care disparities such as language barriers and social determinants of health. In addition to all the knowledge and skills that I have gained as part of this program, I was afforded the support needed to further equip myself by pursuing a Master of Studies in Law (MSL) at UC Hastings. The MSL program allowed me to approach health-related problems in a systematic way that takes medico-legal issues into account. This program has also prepared me to advocate for the health care community through health law and policy endeavors. I plan to also use this unique training to serve the underserved communities.

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