Latino Medical Student Association Allows Touro Nevada Students From Different Program to Come Together to Affect Change
First-year students Ana Vives-Calderon and Analuisa De Alba may be in different programs, but their involvement in the Latino Medical Student Association (LMSA) has helped them affect change and build relationships with students across Touro University Nevada and beyond.
"I was involved with LMSA during my undergraduate years and so I was really excited to join again during medical school,” said De Alba, a student in the College of Osteopathic Medicine. “I believe that LMSA is a great way to get to know other students not only in your program but other programs as well.”
Touro’s LMSA chapter includes representation from each of the campus’ healthcare programs, totaling more than 50 members.
Both Vives-Calderon and De Alba have used their involvement within the organization to affect change and provide students from Hispanic backgrounds with the opportunity to learn more about careers in healthcare.
Vives-Calderon, a first-year student in the School of Occupational Therapy, said her peers assumed she was Caucasian growing up. This led to her ‘blending in’ instead of being able to carve out an identity of her own.
“I never felt represented, especially when career day came around,” she said. “Since I never had that representation growing up, I think it’s important to stand out for younger generations to see. LMSA provides that opportunity and I am grateful Touro Nevada has such a diverse group of students and faculty.”
De Alba remembers how meaningful it was to have been a part of LMSA during her undergraduate years. As a new medical student, she looks forward to speaking to undergraduate students, like she was not long ago, and encouraging them to follow their dreams if they include pursuing a career in medicine.
“Hearing others who are Latino/a who had accomplished their goal in medicine was deeply motivating and one of the key factors in helping me believe in myself,” she said. “I hope that with my involvement I can also be a representation for others like me and to show that no matter the background or chances that you think you have, anything is possible.”
“I think joining a group of like-minded people can affect change,” she said. “By being an active member of LMSA and sharing my story, it may open someone’s eyes to show them it is possible to be a first-generation graduate school student. As I enter a new phase in my life, I wanted to show other Latinx people the rainbow of representation being built up for them. I no longer want to blend in but bring up and support other Latinx people who wish to be healthcare providers.”Learn more about our Occupational Therapy Program