My name is Elsbeth and I was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. I left the west to attend Cornell University for my BA in Biology/Animal Physiology. After college I returned to LA to work at various community and health organizations, sorting out which aspects of health and community outreach I really wanted to pursue. My desires to teach and be involved with an academic community while forming long-lasting relationships with patients steered me towards medicine, and more specifically, primary care.
I came to UVA with little knowledge about the underserved populations in Charlottesville and joined GSP hoping that it would be a great introduction to the various health issues in our community. Though I am currently only a 2nd year, I have been blessed with many opportunities to interact with the diverse patient population here. Shadowing GSP mentors in their clinics in Charlottesville, working with the refugee population at the UVA International Family Medicine Clinic for my GSP research project, and volunteering at the Remote Area Medical Clinic in Wise County have given me an even greater appreciation and understanding of what it means to use my position as a physician to reach out to underserved populations wherever I practice.
For my GSP thesis, I worked with the UVA IFMC to study the acculturative stress of three different refugee groups who have resettled in Charlottesville in the last 5 years. While the nature of the research was often sensitive and challenging, my interactions with these patients gave me more insight into the different needs (both medical and non-medical) of the various cultural groups within our community.