Hey everyone! I’m Regina. I grew up in a small country town in Michigan — dirt roads, chickens and all! My road to medicine came early on in life when I was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia at age four. Frequenting the hospital from an early age made me curious about science and medicine, and most of all, the art of caring for others through some of life’s most challenging moments.
Frequent hospital visits as a child – combined with the economic hardship that was the unspoken sequela of my cancer – sparked an early interest in medicine and public policy that remains central to my career aspirations. I quickly learned that there is no better place to see these two fields intersect than in the Emergency Department.
I was lucky enough to get a full ride scholarship to Eastern Michigan University where I double majored in Biology and Political Science with a minor in Chemistry.
While I pursued an MPH at University of Michigan, I learned about the intersection of built environment, health, and economic opportunity under the mentorship of the Chief Medical Executive for the State of Michigan. In this role I witnessed the real-world influence of a physician on state and national healthcare policy, which gave me the tools and confidence necessary to make an impact myself.
In late 2013, I was determined to use the lessons I’d learned from studying health care delivery in El Salvador and Honduras to fight inequity closer to home. I headed to Detroit. I pitched a job for myself to Mayor Duggan’s cabinet, and by early 2014, the Detroit City Council appointed me as public health advisor to a $100 million dollar project funded by the US Treasury to demolish 40,000 vacant properties in the City of Detroit where I tackled issues related to safe housing, city planning and exposure to lead.
As I began medical school at the University of Michigan, I soon realized that the Emergency Department is the ideal place to examine gaps in our current model of health care delivery, as well as the structural forces that affect the health of our communities.
I’m one of those people who always like to “get involved” which is perhaps best exemplified by my tenures as Student Body President of my high school, college, and finally as Student Council President of my medical school. When I’m not in the hospital, I enjoy cooking, community organizing, #MedTwitter, and catching up with friends.
During interview season, University of Chicago stood out to me as a program full of genuine, brilliant, and passionate people who were working toward a shared goal – and having a great time doing it. This is a place where I knew I would be able to see the breadth of academic emergency medicine practice and also where my energy and experience in health disparities work would find a home.