Filipino. Black. Mother. Wife. Doctor. Woman.

I’m Nicole and I am a 4th year medical student who has been blessed with the opportunity to go on a 4 week trip to the Philippines!  I am participating in the Child Family Health International Remote Island Medicine Program in the Philippines and have been awarded the Loeliger 4th Year Medical Elective Scholarship.  I am going to be in the Philippines during April 2017, and this is going to be my last rotation of medical school.  This opportunity is special to me for several reasons.  I have always wanted to go, as my mother is Filipino and I have always wanted to see the country my grandparents emigrated from.  I now have daughters of my own and I hope to be able to teach them with more experiences from their culture and heritage.  I am so grateful that CFHI has helped sponsor this trip; without their funding, it would have been very difficult to go.   My goal here is to learn about how the Philippines, a country with limited resources, provides excellent medical care for all, both through preventive services and acute care.  I hope to see how healthcare differs in the cities and in the remote islands.

I also hope to discover a part of myself that I have always felt was missing.  Every time I have told people that I am half Filipino, they always ask if I have ever been there.  Sadly, I reply no, reminding me of a experience that I long to have.  Finally, I will be able to taste authentic Filipino food, experience some culture and hear the language, Tagalog, constantly.  I am so excited, I have never had a chance to be around so many Filipinos!

This my last rotation before becoming a doctor.  Through the  Child Family Health International Remote Island Medicine 4 week Program, I will be able to connect with the local healthcare providers and become intimate with the Philippine health care system.  I am eager to learn and ready for a life changing experience!