Dr. Patricia Torres-Molina was born and raised in Porterville, California. Her parents emigrated from Mexico and instilled in her the importance of education. As a result, she graduated from Porterville High School as Valedictorian and earned a full ride scholarship to Fresno State through the Smittcamp Family Honors College. While at Fresno State she was a member of the NCAA Division 1 Track and Cross Country teams. In 2008, Dr. Torres-Molina graduated Magna Cum Laude from Fresno State University with a B.S degree in Biology.
Dr. Torres-Molina did not always know she wanted to pursue a degree in Dentistry, but she always had a passion for serving people and a profound interest in science. Through her collegiate education she became engaged in the Dental Club at Fresno State. It was in the Dental Club that she first met her now husband, Dr. Jose Eduardo Molina. Upon graduating from Fresno State, Dr. Torres-Molina was accepted into the prestigious Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry in San Francisco, CA.
While in dental school, Dr. Torres-Molina organized various community service projects and participated in multiple study clubs. She also managed to plan a wedding during her first year of dental school and got married shortly after. During her last year in dental school, Dr. Torres-Molina soon found out her journey as a mother was just about to begin. Her first born, Xavi, entered the world 6 days before Dr. Torres-Molina walked across stage to receive her Doctor of Dental Surgery degree in June of 2011.
Soon after graduation, Dr. Torres-Molina relocated back to Fresno to start a one year hospital residency at Community Regional Medical Center and Veterans Hospital in Fresno. While in residency Dr. Torres-Molina received additional training in trauma, orthodontics, pediatric dentistry, surgery and hospital based dental care. At the completion of her one year residency she moved back to the bay area to support her husband through dental school. Dr. Torres-Molina found work at a Community Clinic and provided dental care to the underserved communities of Contra Costa County for 3 years.
Currently, Dr. Torres-Molina is practicing as a General Dentist in Visalia and is enjoying being back in the San Joaquin Valley. She loves to spend time with her husband and two boys, Xavi and Sebastian, 4 and 1, respectively. She loves being a dentist and the flexibility of being a mother, wife and health professional.
My name is Nick Orozco and I'm currently a 4th-year medical student in the UC Berkeley - UCSF Joint Medical Program, also in the Program in Medical Education for the Urban Underserved. I grew up in East Los Angeles and the San Gabriel Valley area and was the first in my family to attend college and medical school. I attended UCLA for my undergraduate studies and completed a post-baccalaureate program at UCSF before starting medical school. I am also a gay Latino. My interests are in LGBTQI health, Latin@ health, public health, health disparities, health advocacy, social justice, substance dependence and pipeline programs for underrepresented in medicine students.
Dr. J. Eduardo Molina is a Fresno native who decided on a dental career as a High School Student at Sunnyside High School upon meeting Dr. Mirelez at a UCSF School of Dentistry tour. Upon graduating from Sunnyside High’s Doctors Academy, he attended Fresno State University and received his Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry while minoring in Physical Science and Art.
After receiving his degree from Fresno State, Dr. Molina followed his wife to San Francisco where she completed her dental education and he completed a dental post-baccalaureate program at UCSF School of Dentistry. While at this program, Dr. Molina conducted research on Caries Management by Risk Assessment, completed additional coursework in Biological Sciences and volunteered as a dental assistant in San Francisco.
Dr. Molina went on to attend the prestigious UCSF School of Dentistry where in addition to completing his traditional dental training, he received additional training in Diode lasers, CAD/CAM same day restorations, and participated in an endodontic clerkship. Dr. Molina obtained his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from UCSF School of Dentistry on June 2015. He is thrilled to join Mirelez Wellness Dental alongside his longtime friend and mentor, Dr. Mirelez.
Dr. J Eduardo Molina and his wife Dr. Patty have been blessed with their two boys, Xavier (4 yrs) and Sebastian (10 mo.). Besides dentistry, Dr. Molina is passionate about hiking, trying out new restaurants, traveling and visiting family throughout the Central Valley. Dr. Molina loves to play & watch soccer and he can’t wait until he can coach his boys' soccer teams in the near future!
Luke Anthony Burgan is currently a Senior Supplier Quality Engineer for Cymer, LLC in San Diego, California. In this role he is responsible for managing key domestic and international suppliers while driving quality improvement projects to improve Cymer's supply chain. Luke joined Cymer in 2012 after spending time at Southwest Fabricators and AMETEK Programmable Power. He is a graduate of San Diego State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering. Luke joined the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) in 2004 at the student chapter before entering the professional chapter in 2009, and has served as an officer in nine of his eleven years. He recently served as President of the SHPE San Diego Professional Chapter from 2012 to 2014, where he was awarded with the Outstanding President Award. Under his leadership, SHPE San Diego grew and continues to earn recognition to this day. His passion is to support future professionals through professional development and career advancement coaching. He loves to help the community and aspires to hold a political office one day in the future.
Jerome Chelliah is a 4th year UCSF medical student. He was born in Sri Lanka and immigrated to California at the age of 11. He received his degree in Neurobiology, Physiology, and Behavior from the University of California, Davis. During his college years, he worked on LGBT student rights and successfully advocated for the first ever inclusion of transgender health benefits into the UC Davis Student Health Insurance Plan. At UCSF, he served as the vice president of Student National Medical Association, organized the annual LGBT Health Forums and UCSF Domestic Violence Conferences, and served on the UCSF Medical School Admissions Committee. After his third year of medical school, he went to Johns Hopkins School of Public Health as a Sommer Scholar to obtain his Masters in Public Health in Health Finance and Management. During his free time, Jerome enjoys trying out new bakeries and relaxing with his partner, Malcolm.
Malcolm Pyles is a Stanford medical student, researcher and president of the Student National Medical Association. Originally from Cleveland, OH, Malcolm received his degree in Biochemistry and Cell Biology from Rice University in Houston, TX. There he focused on community engagement and activism both at Rice and abroad. Since coming to Stanford as a leadership in health disparities program participant, Malcolm has been involved in recruitment and leadership with admissions, serving on the Diversity Advisory Panel and as an assistant director to the Leland Scholars Program aimed at facilitating the transition to Stanford for freshmen intending to study STEM fields and who are from diverse backgrounds. In his spare time, Malcolm enjoys managing a free dermatology clinic serving the San Jose area and spending time with his partner, Jerome.
Diego is a pharmacy student at UCSF School of Pharmacy. Despite challenges growing up, he was proactive and resourceful in identifying opportunities to volunteer, improve himself, and seek out growing opportunities. Diego is now highly regarded in the UCSF program and plans to return to Salinas to work in underserved communities after he graduates.
James Earl Harris Jr. is a general surgeon specializing in the full spectrum of common to complex abdominal and digestive disease surgery, including the latest minimally-invasive surgical techniques. Dr. Harris practices with Johns Hopkins Community Physicians exclusively at Howard County General Hospital as the Medical Director of the practice. He has a particular interest in surgical treatment of digestive diseases, such as stomach and colon cancer.
My path to becoming a physician with an interest in academic surgery and scientific research was far from a typical one. Raised in poverty by a disabled grandmother with the help of government assistance, I learned early on about many of the same struggles faced by my patients in the urban Baltimore community around Johns Hopkins Hospital. Very early in my childhood I showed an interest in becoming a physician; this motivation likely originated from my interactions with the various physicians that managed my grandmother’s heart failure and other illnesses. Although my grandmother only had a 7th grade education, she still managed to motivate me to follow my dream with her praise and encouragement.
Despite my grandmother’s best effort, as a teenager I lost focus in my childhood dream while attending a high school engulfed by gang violence and poverty. I rarely attended class for the first two years of high school and was about to drop out until finding out that my girlfriend (now my wife) was pregnant with our oldest son (who is now 21 years old, just graduated from college and will be starting his Masters in the fall). While my school counselor felt this was the worst news that a kid in my already dismal position could hear, I took the news as a big reason to get my life together. In order to catch up on all the class work I missed the first two years, I had to go to an independent study high school where I was able not only to take care of my work at an accelerated pace to graduate on time, but also I was able to work full-time to support my new family.
We stayed with my grandmother for the first year while working and going to independent study high school. After saving up money from fast food jobs and factory work, we then moved out on our own when I was 16. My wife and I both worked full-time throughout high school and college to support our new family. Prior to entering medical school, I worked as an auto repair shop service manager for almost five years. This was one of my earliest work experiences where I not only gained a significant amount of leadership experience, but was also able to enjoy the technical aspects of using my hands. Although it was difficult working 40-60 hours/week while in college full-time, applying to medical school and attempting to be a good father and husband, it was my wife that had the more difficult job of being the primary one caring for our children while also working full-time; without her, graduating from high school would have been farfetched, let alone acceptance to medical school or a competitive surgical residency.
Despite many significant challenges throughout medical school and surgical residency, we have continued to thrive. Now with our 3 children, ages 21, 18 and 14, God and my family continues to be my source of strength and motivation.
Originally from Northampton, Massachusetts, Jecca graduated from Rice University with a B.A. in Biological Sciences. She pursued an MSc in Epidemiology at University College London. She is now a first year medical student at Stanford University. Jecca's college interests included women's health and community development. As an undergraduate, she interned with a women's reproductive rights organization in Mexico and taught a course entitled Poverty in Houston.
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