Paula Andrea Lucuara
UConn School of Medicine, Class of 2012
I am a first-year medical student. I was born and raised in Colombia, South America and immigrated to the United States with my mother when I was eighteen years old. To go to college, I first had to take classes in English as a Second Language at a community college. Then, I did undergraduate studies at UConn where I completed my Bachelor of Science Degree in Biological Sciences in 2007. My interests are varied: family medicine; OB/GYN; public health; and even surgery! Nevertheless, no matter the specialty I choose, I am certain that I want to help underserved populations and be involved in improving their health care as well.
I was attracted to UST because it offers the opportunity to start serving urban and underserved communities, and to practice health care with other professionals. Working together with other health care colleagues is a crucial aspect of today’s medicine. My background as an immigrant coupled with bilingual language skills gives me greater insight into the nature of underserved patients and communities. When we first arrived in the U.S., my mother and I were uninsured. Even after we obtained health insurance, we struggled to receive proper healthcare. Thus, I understand the difficulties that urban communities experience in this area. I have participated in AmeriCorps helping children from Hartford schools to prepare for the Connecticut Mastery Test, and in other community projects and non-profit organizations of the city. Furthermore, I worked as a parent educator at the Hispanic Health Council and as the outreach coordinator for the Connecticut River Valley Farmworker Health Program, a project that provides health care to migrant and seasonal farm workers. I truly believe that UST is a great resource for all of us who are going into the healthcare field and I think that it will complement significantly my training in medicine.