The NMF Scholar Spotlight for February 2019 goes to Joel Ramirez, our Scholar Speaker for the 2019 Bay Area Champions of Health Awards! Continue reading about Joel below, and click here to purchase tables and tickets for the Bay Area Champions of Health Awards.

Joel Ramirez
University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) School of Medicine
2018 Recipient of the NMF National Alumni Council Scholarship

Before applying to medical school, Joel Ramirez worked as an emergency medical technician in Los Angeles. He was the first of his siblings to graduate from college, and had never considered a career as a physician until, as an EMT, he saw how underserved communities are disproportionately affected by lack of access to healthcare. This ignited a lifelong passion for Joel, who is now a fourth year medical student at University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine.

During medical school, Joel has served in local homeless shelters and at San Francisco General Hospital. He has also mentored high school and college students from underrepresented backgrounds as they pursue education in the health professions. This commitment to mentorship and representation has grown alongside an interest in vascular surgery: procedures that save the lives of patients, and groundbreaking research with far-reaching implications in medicine. These experiences have motivated Joel to pursue a career as a surgeon-scientist.

As the first in his family to pursue a career in healthcare, Joel understands firsthand the value of mentorship and outreach for underrepresented communities. As a Chicano surgeon-scientist whose background reflects those of people he hopes to serve, Joel is well positioned to care and advocate for underserved communities, and drive changes in the workforce that will have a long-lasting impact on the delivery of care. Receiving the NMF National Alumni Council Scholarship has helped him achieve his goals thus far, and Joel exemplifies the goal of NMF: to identify and nurture tomorrow’s diverse healthcare leaders, who will have the knowledge, skills, cultural competency and commitment to achieve health equity.