A South Bay summer program is helping under-served communities such as Chula Vista, San Ysidro and Imperial Beach while helping young students with big medical school dreams.
In a crowded conference room at this Kaiser clinic in Clairemont, future nurses and doctors are learning the ropes.
Dr. Pablo Inzunza with Kaiser's Family Medicine Residency Program is giving students a chance to experience what giving an injection would be like or how to stitch up a wound.
For six weeks, students from San Ysidro High School, pair up with college and medical students and go over real life emergency situations.
Inzunza came up with the concept to help young aspiring medical students across the South Bay.
"A lot of these kids their parents didn't go to college some of them didn't even graduate high school,” said Inzunza, who is in his first year of residency at Kaiser Permanente in San Diego.
It's an experience Luz Razo said she takes to heart.
“There’s so many people who are in need of help in medicine," said the 21-year-old UCLA student through tears. “I would like to go back and give that care to that community who needs it."
But for 27-year-old Inzunza, it's a familiar story. He grew up on both sides of the border. He said his family was low income and struggled without medical care.
“My parents basically had to work two jobs each, to be able to put me through school,” said Inzunza.
Despite hardships, he pursued his dream of becoming a doctor and is now giving back -- not only to communities along the border, but also to its future physicians.
“The thing that I take away from this program more than anything is just the satisfaction of knowing that I am able to help out [and] that when I look at them, I see myself."
The Summer Urban Fellowship Program wraps up with a Health Fair. It is being held Sunday July 21 from noon to 4 p.m. at the San Ysidro Seventh Day Adventist Church. The address is 521 Blackshaw Ln. in San Ysidro.
Attendees will get one-on-one time with Kaiser doctors, screenings for blood pressure, diabetes and obesity. They will also receive referrals for pap smears, family planning and STD prevention.