Today we’d like to introduce you to Ruth Montes.
Dr, Montes, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
My pursuit in Medicine was quite the journey. I believe my interest in sports growing up, taught me resilience and determination. Graduating Franklin H.S with honors, I ultimately completed my studies at UCLA with a B.S in Psychobiology. Throughout college, my interest in medicine became my passion as I participated, to eventually spearheaded my own health fairs at medically underrepresented areas. This continued throughout my Masters study at CSULA and as president of the Chicanos for Community Medicine, I devoted much time to civic and scholarly endeavors. As a scientist, I accomplished many accolades, including authoring several chemistry journal articles, Master of Science thesis and national conference poster presentations, ultimately being named Outstanding Graduate of the Year at CSULA in 2016. My journey took me to complete my medical degree at Keck School of Medicine of USC where I continued political involvement in mentorship and bridging disparities to success.
I realized that I loved all aspects of medicine, the holistic and comprehensive nature of it, from delivering babies to seeing children and elders, birth to death, so I chose to complete a residency in Family Medicine, which is where I am at now. While fulfilling my lifelong dreams of becoming a physician, much like medicine woman, I continue my athletic skills in running and fitness for life balance and wellness.
Has it been a smooth road?
There has been struggles in every stage of my career, which only made me stronger. Beginning with grade school, being raised in a single home with minimal resources in the way of food, education, health, we survived on government aid. During college, I commuted and worked while attending full time, which was a strain to the completion of my degree so I pursued a Masters to become a more robust candidate for medicine. During medical school, family members became gravely ill which was a distraction to my life long efforts and loyalty to my next of kin. Despite it all, I find myself beyond blessed, more than half-way done with residency and on my way to a promising life role in the art of healing.
We’d love to hear more about your business.
I work for a Community hospital and a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) in DTLA while in Family Medicine Residency. I am currently completing year two of three as a general practitioner, where I am able to work as a resident hospitalist admitting pediatric, obstetrics, ICU level care patients from the level two trauma ER. Meanwhile I work with my colleagues to volunteer in the community, educating kids in the DTLA area at Hope Street Project, on health topics. Alongside my colleagues, I also volunteer at community health fairs, premed conferences teaching medical skills, providing mentorship for premeds particularly to those underrepresented in Medicine, which includes first generation college students like myself, and those with other socioeconomic barriers. In addition, I am politically involved and have been invited to speak at large rallies in DTLA, for example at the big Labor Day march for DACA and other purposes in DTLA and also UTLA (United Teachers of Los Angeles) rallies against AB 1217 to protect public schools in the LAUSD, having been a testament myself to the success of what a public school can offer in way of preparation to various careers including medicine. I participate in local races like the LA marathon and help raise funds for medical causes. What I am most proud of is participating in community events and giving back to the Los Angeles areas I came from where resources are scarce and much in the way of advocacy is warranted. What sets me apart from others is that fact that I am on an Integrative Medicine tract that I plan to use various healing arts for weightless, fitness and wellness in my future medical practice.
Is our city a good place to do what you do?
Family medicine is indispensable and depending on who is president, there will be waves of higher demand if universal health care is sought after. Despite the economy, health remains a priority. Even if maintenance of ones’ health via regular visits, at least annual, is not done, with Western fads in foods and fast lifestyle, a role in medicine remains crucial. Children will always need vaccines, pregnant women will always need prenatal care, chronic medical conditions will always need management, and acute emergencies will always exist.
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-USC Family Medicine Residency