What are your pronouns?
Where are you from?
I grew up in rural Northern California, in a socially conservative household.
What’s your specialty or area of expertise?
Obstetrics & Gynecology, Family Planning Fellowship trained
What first inspired you to become a doctor?
As the oldest of 19 grandchildren in a very large Mexican-American family, I was constantly surrounded by birth and as such, knew from a very early age that I wanted to take care of women and their pregnancies. As I grew up and began to learn about further aspects of reproductive health, I realized that becoming an ob/gyn who provided full spectrum care—obstetrics, gynecology, and family planning—was the perfect avenue to truly and comprehensively care for women throughout all stages of their life.
What story about one of your patients most sticks with you?
I LOVE to laugh, so the most memorable patient stories I have are the ones where patients have reminded me not to take myself too seriously. A lot of these stories are inappropriate for dinner conversations (we deal with vaginas, after all) but a lot of them truly resonate with me as a woman, mother, and human being just trying to make it through life.
One of my favorite stories is of a woman who went into labor with her third child, while caring for her three- and five-year-olds at home. As she rapidly progressed through labor and began pushing, her small children ran amok in the hospital room, ignoring their mother’s intermittent commands to sit still and not touch the sterile drapes. Then as the baby’s head was finally crowning, the three-year-old stopped dead in his tracks, staring up at his mother’s exposed bottom and yelled, “WHOA, there’s something weird coming out of her!” If that’s not a description of the plight of women, I’m not sure what is.
What current policy issue especially motivates you to be an advocate?
What I love most about advocacy is the ability to advocate for ALL aspects of women’s reproductive health. Abortion access, in particular, is a topic I feel particularly passionate about because it is often the least understood and most commonly misconstrued issue in health policy. When I advocate for abortion, I am making explicitly clear that family planning is no less a women’s health issue than childbirth. These are equally significant issues that deserve equal protection and support in the legislature.
Who is your social justice hero?
Ruth Bader Ginsberg.
Favorite quote: “I ask no favor for my sex. All I ask of our brethren is that they take their feet off our necks.”