Latino doctors of the future know where they will do their residencies

Who would have thought that an envelope could change the fate of many young people who found out on Friday which residency program they were accepted into.

“I’m going to Columbia and it was my ‘first choice,’ and I’m very, very grateful,” said Stephanie Pena, a medical student at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.

“We stayed in New York,” said Yan Colon Iban, a medical student at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.

Much of his medical career has been spent during the pandemic, which may have influenced his early path of wanting to help his community.

“I want to be a family doctor because I want to be the first person that patients can see, talk to, have a conversation with, and also help them navigate this system that is very difficult,” Pena said.

“One thing that contributes to the Latino representation in this specialty is that only 5% of general surgeons in the United States identify as Hispanic and compared to the population, which is 20% who identify as Hispanic. “I wanted to do it, but I’m also fascinated by surgery and the operating room,” Colon Eban said.

Both students are the first in their families to become doctors and have overcome many obstacles in their path to medicine.

Peña said, “This trajectory was very difficult, I have parents who are Dominican immigrants and who didn’t know how to navigate the education system, so I’m very proud to be able to be who I am today.” “

“I know it’s hard sometimes when you don’t see someone who looks like you in the positions that we want, but you should just take it as inspiration,” Colon Iban said.

And of course…the proud moms couldn’t contain their joy and, as they say colloquially, they couldn’t contain their hearts.

Stephanie’s mother Cecilia Concepcion said, “Thank God, I have no words… that I am so proud of her, that I worship her and that I love her.”

“I love him with my soul and we, our family, are more than proud of him and he represents all of us in some way or another,” said Mary Eban, Yahan’s mother.

Yehan and Stephanie will both do their residencies here in New York City and one of them will have their next doctor speak to them in Spanish.

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