“As an AFS exchange student in high school, my year in Panama opened my eyes to the Latin culture, Spanish language, and people that I grew to love.” John made six trips to Nicaragua, Guatemala and throughout Central America and volunteered after Hurricane Mitch in 1999 as a Spanish interpreter. “I met doctors and physicians assistants from around the world who inspired me to pursue a career in medicine. I have always been passionate about helping people help themselves and I live by Gandhi’s quote ‘We must BE the change we wish to see in the world.'” says John who became passionate about public health and helping solve community health issues in epidemiology. “At OSU, I worked with Drs. Tricker, Rossignol, and Pedersen to learn the essential skills to develop a strategy for reducing mosquito-borne dengue fever in urban Nicaragua. This became my senior thesis that I implemented in Nicaragua to successfully reduce the incidence of dengue fever in some areas.” John earned his honors BS in public health, honors BA in international studies with a minor in Spanish. After graduating he worked for the Benton County Health Department as a bilingual medical interpreter. Earlier this year he completed his Master of Physician Assistant studies, a rigorous 26-month program at Oregon Health & Science University School of Medicine. He’s eager to start his new job as a physician assistant in Ontario, Oregon. “The community has a large percentage of Hispanics where my Spanish will come in handy. I have always enjoyed working with kids and I plan to be very active helping the community address their health needs.” For fun on the side, John is a mobile DJ and performs at parties, weddings and other events. “I’ve been dubbed ‘DJ Don Juan’ thanks to my Spanish adventures.”
You can reach John at email@example.com.