Student Life

“Singing has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. I grew up in a really musical family, played classical guitar and piano through grade school, and discovered a love for a cappella singing as an undergrad student.

“I am a cancer mom. Once a cancer mom, always a cancer mom. I'm also a registered nurse and have worked in the emergency department (including a pediatric trauma center) and intensive care for over 15 years.

“For me, 2016 has been a year of success accompanied by huge changes. This is my first time living in a new city with new people, opportunities, and responsibilities.

“I am a fairly non-traditional pharmacy student. I started pursuing an entirely different field, my husband and son are back in Southern California, I am older.

Quick, what does a scientist look like? Picture it in your mind — don’t overthink it. What are they wearing? What's their gender? The color of their skin? If you aren’t all that happy with what popped into your head, it’s understandable.

“I grew up all over the world, but I’ve somehow always lived in the Bay Area on and off. My first exposure to nursing was at a high school career fair; I then decided to shadow different nursing professions.

“If someone told my 7th grade self, who would regularly puke in the school bathroom between classes, that I would someday be a student at a health professional school, there’s absolutely no way I would have believed them.” As a UCSF student who struggled with anorexia and anxiety disorder, “Taylor” (the student’s name has been changed for privacy) is one of many at UCSF who identify as having a disability.

“I've never made a penny being a doctor, so that makes it not a job. My sense of a doctor is that one is a presence caring for health. So I'm never not a doctor. People call me from all over the world who are hurting, and I care for them.

“Finishing my summer dental research project feels so good! While I am the editor-in-chief for the dental research newsletter and have years of research experience under my belt, I still don’t feel like a confident researcher.

If you live in the United States for so long it’s difficult to imagine a world where we are not the center. Staying in Chengdu, China challenged this notion and presented me with a very different reality.