In celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, Touro University Nevada expanded its ‘Touro Nevada Stands for Justice’ programming with the inaugural ‘Hispanic Heritage Month’ Lecture Series for the campus community to attend.
Put on by the Latino Medical Student Association (LMSA) and the Touro Nevada Stands for Justice Committee, the presentation was called “Latinx Health Issues and Disparities,” featuring Dr. Kenneth Dominguez.
LMSA students also discussed the importance of Hispanic Heritage Month and why representation in healthcare is so crucial.
“Hispanic Heritage Month is important because it highlights the value our people bring to the community and the beauty of our culture,” said Luis Sanchez, a third-year student in the College of Osteopathic Medicine. “In today’s political climate, I believe there is a greater need for the American people to understand us. Fear and distrust stem from misunderstanding. Hispanic Heritage Month creates an opportunity to educate the public on Hispanic people and culture, and to break away from the propagation of misunderstanding.”
Jessica Landeros, a second-year student in the School of Physical Therapy, grew up with non-English-speaking parents who always wanted to see themselves in the healthcare providers who cared for them.
“Patients are coming to us already concerned about a multitude of things, and having someone in the healthcare community who can serve them alleviates one less thing for them to worry about out,” she said. “This can be achieved by having more Hispanic and Latinx representation, along with other marginalized groups. By pursuing a career in healthcare, we are making sure our communities are being served and better integrated into a system that does not always acknowledge their needs.”
Second-year osteopathic medical student Laura Mendoza said it is important to see role models of similar backgrounds because they can inspire others to pursue a career in healthcare.
“Growing up, I did not have anyone in my family who went to college, much less become a physician,” she recalled. “And when I worked in clinics, I encountered maybe three or four Latinx/Hispanic physicians my entire time. It is discouraging, but I am hopeful that our generation and future generations will change this for the better.”