Med student Paul Delgado recognized with LMSA National Scholarship
Wednesday, March 23, 2022
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By the time Paul Delgado was a teenager she knew she wanted to do something for people and communities that were most in need of help.
“I didn’t really know why medicine at first, but it somehow felt like a calling, to the point that I moved countries at 13 years old without my immediate family,” said Delgado, who was born in Oklahoma and raised in Mexico City before moving back to Oklahoma as a young teen.
“Later during my undergraduate training, I realized the impact health disparities have on racial and ethnic minority populations in our state. Throughout the years, I have worked with and have committed to serve communities that are disproportionately impacted by those inequalities,” she said.
When it came to deciding on a medical school to attend, Delgado said she knew a main focus of OSU College of Osteopathic Medicine was helping underserved communities in Oklahoma.
“I also knew that training at OSU-COM would allow me to treat the entire person and focus on preventative care, which is key when it comes to chronic illness in underserved communities,” she said. “I was looking for a medical school where I could thrive and not just survive. OSU-COM has really been a home away from home.”
I was looking for a medical school where I could thrive and not just survive. OSU-COM
has really been a home away from home.
I was looking for a medical school where I could thrive and not just survive. OSU-COM has really been a home away from home.
As a first-year medical student, Delgado is one of the founding members of the Latino Medical Student Association chapter at OSU-COM, the first LMSA chapter in the state.
“We needed a community on campus where students from Hispanic and Latinx backgrounds could come together and have a ‘familia.’ Where we could bond over food, language and cultural similarities,” she said. “While there were organizations on campus that worked on helping the Tulsa community, there was not a specific organization focused on serving the growing Hispanic community of Tulsa.”
That commitment to service and support of underserved and underrepresented communities is the major reason Delgado was selected as one of the recipients of the 2022 LMSA National Scholarship, something that was a complete surprise to her.
“There are so many LMSA members across the country dedicated to helping Latinx and other underserved communities that I didn’t know if my application was strong enough,” she said. “What I did know was I am passionate about building supportive networks for students, I am committed to addressing the health disparity gap that disproportionately affects communities of color, and I understand the impact organizations like LMSA have on future generations interested in medicine.”
Delgado is the first person in her family to go into medicine, and while they don’t always understand what she’s doing at school, they are her biggest supporters.
“Everyone in my family has always encouraged me to go after my dreams, and not just my mother and brother, but every single one of my aunts, uncles, cousins, everyone,” she said.
Delgado said one of those dreams is the establishment of the first LMSA chapter in Oklahoma and the national recognition she’s received will open new opportunities for Hispanic and Latinx students in the state. But she’s not stopping there.
She recently attended the LMSA Southwest Region conference and met other medical students with similar passions and interests leading Delgado to join the LMSA Southwest Regional Board where she will serve as the 2022-23 Regional Program Chair.
“Through this position I hope to increase leadership representation at the regional level and further help increase participation from our local chapter in the Southwest Region.”