THE DOWNLOAD: Inspired to Make a Difference

At the onset of the pandemic in 2020, Alexander Baltodano started work as an emergency medical technician. Day after day, his crew rushed acute COVID patients to hospitals in the Napa Valley. 

He noticed that the coronavirus was adversely affecting people from underserved communities who lacked primary care providers. As a result, many patients didn’t seek medical attention until they were gravely ill, which troubled him. 

The experience influenced Baltodano’s desire to be a doctor — he’s now a first-year student at the UC Davis School of Medicine. 

Baltodano applied for school earlier than he initially planned. “I just wanted to be part of that solution now rather than later,” he reasoned.

About half of today’s medical students across the country started school during the pandemic. Many of them had considered medical careers all along, and the pandemic merely reinforced their decision. Others, like Baltodano, made up their minds about applying to medical school based on what they experienced in the pandemic’s early days.

Read the full story on the UC Davis Health website.

— Edwin Garcia

Shaking up samples

Engineers in the UC Davis Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering developed a machine that shakes and inverts viscous samples to combine them with proteins that make them less viscous. The machine was invented for UC Davis’ award-winning asymptomatic COVID-19 saliva testing, but can be used in any situation where viscous liquids need to be evenly mixed with another substance.

Our new student says when the weekend begins

Why get a doctorate in nursing?

Laura L. Van Auker, an assistant professor at the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing, talks about why she became a nurse and why she sought a doctorate in nursing practice — a degree the school of nursing will offer starting next year.

Media Resources

Cody Kitaura is a News and Media Relations Specialist in the Office of Strategic Communications, and can be reached by email or at 530-752-1932.

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