Andrea Banuelos Mota currently is a third-year medical student at the Keck School of Medicine at University of Southern California. Ms. Mota is an active member of her local Los Angeles Chapter, a Legislative Key Contact, and also serves as Student Co-Director on the CAFP Board of Directors. Her favorite CAFP experience so far has been attending the All Member Advocacy Meeting. “I really appreciated everything I learned there and how empowered I felt walking away from the experience. Everyone was wonderful and passionate and all of it drew me more to the specialty.”
Why did you choose family medicine and what’s your favorite aspect of it?
My favorite aspect of family medicine is how all-encompassing the specialty is and the focus on the whole patient as well as the whole family.
Were you inspired by anyone to pursue family medicine?
I was inspired by several mentors to pursue family medicine; all wonderful family medicine physicians who embody what being a great physician looks like in practice.
What is the most interesting/memorable experience you have had when dealing with a patient?
My favorite memories of dealing with patients is hearing their stories. Patients are so resilient, and they have so much to teach us. For example, there was a patient during my family medicine rotation that shared all of her life tribulations with me including the deployment of her son to two war zones. She shared how her drive to overcome those challenges gives her the motivation to stay on top of managing her diabetes.
What is the best experience you have had during your career as a family physician (in training) so far?
My best experience so far as a student is the opportunity to care for a wide breadth of patients of all ages, ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds.
It is important for me to be a member of CAFP and AAFP because:
When we come together as a group, we amplify our voices and can accomplish so much in the name of the specialty and our patients.
What has been your best experience as a CAFP member? Why?
There are many wonderful experiences, but I think that I really enjoyed attending the All Member Advocacy Meeting. I really appreciated everything I learned there and how empowered I felt walking away from the experience. Everyone was wonderful and passionate and all of it drew me more to the specialty.
The most important resource I find CAFP offers me is:
A community of like-minded individuals.
How do you make a difference in family medicine and in your community?
I strive to make a difference by helping promote the value of the specialty.
Tell us about a project you are involved in and why it is important to you:
A project I am involved with is a leadership needs assessment for medical students. This is important for me because I think that there is a lot of work to be done in the medical field and our field needs the best prepared leaders to tackle all the issues at hand. I am interested in identifying how prepared students feel to be leaders in their field and what curricular programs could be implemented to help students feel more prepared.
What are good qualities a family physician should have?
A family physician should have great listening skills, great clinical skills, and a commitment to serving the community.
Do you remember your personal statement for medical school? If so, would you like to share an excerpt?
Sure, here is it: “My driving force to serve the underserved is rooted in my desire to treat patients with dignity regardless of their ethnic, socioeconomic, or demographic background.”
What one sentence of advice would you give to (your fellow) medical students interested in family medicine?
Immerse yourself in all of the activities available via your FMIG, state chapter (CAFP) and the AAFP. Get a real sense of what the specialty is like and everything it has to offer.
If you weren’t a doctor what would you be doing with your career?
I would most likely be working in the nonprofit field in public health and would spend my free time cooking as much as possible and imagining myself as a chef in some other life.