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.
— Edwin Garcia
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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.