OUT OF THE FIELDS
My Journey From Farmworker Boy To Pediatrician
Book Excerpt from the Inspiring Story of Ramon Resa, MD:
Excerpt #15 of 17
RAMON RESA REFUSES TO TELL MED SCHOOL INTERVIEWERS WHAT THEY WANT TO HEAR, KNOWS HE HAS BLOWN HIS CHANCE.
In my medical school application essay, I sum up my reasons for wanting to be a doctor. I mention my background and my lack of parents and my work ethic. I tear into the society we live in and how racist and uncaring it is toward the poor and the minorities. I describe what happened to my Aunt Helen and talk about the lack of Mexican doctors to treat us and serve as role models. I promise to return to my home area to serve the poor and to mentor others of my race. I essentially put down people like Debbie’s dad, who’s a psychiatrist.
He looks over my essay and is upset by my tirade. He tells me it’s very offensive and that I should rewrite it.
“I believe in what I wrote,” I tell him. “And I stand by it, because I’ve witnessed these things time and time again.”
“Well, with that attitude, you won’t get into UC San Francisco, or any other school. I guarantee it!” he warns me.
I send off my application unchanged. Then I wait.
I finally get a letter to interview in Minnesota, where Debbie’s dad attended medical school. How ironic would it be if they accepted me. During the interviews, I’m told about the shortage of minority doctors in Minnesota. The selection committee asks me whether I would consider staying on and living there if I were accepted.
I can tell that they want me to say yes.
“No,” I finally answer. “I must go back to my people in California because they need us just as much. And I have to be near my relatives so I can be a role model for the next generation. I can’t lie to you about something this important to me even if it you reject me.”
Then I fly back to Santa Cruz knowing I’ve blown a great opportunity.