Health Sciences Student Centers Community in Career
November 1, 2022
“I’ve always wanted to help people and to have an impact in the health care system,” shares Raquel Ramos, BS health sciences ’23.
With a passion for inclusive health care, Ramos is preparing for a future career as a physician assistant (PA) by pursuing her bachelor’s in health sciences at Drexel University’s College of Nursing and Health Professions. In addition, she is pursuing a minor in medical Spanish and nutrition, and Ramos has trained as an EMT and critical care technician. She aspires to work as an emergency room PA and intends to serve as an advocate for non-English-speaking patients and patients from underserved populations.
“I want to advocate for my people,” Ramos attests. “A lot of underserved populations come through the ER, and the quality of their care can vary. We need people who can translate, people who care, people who will go out of their way to assist patients in high stakes situations.”
In addition to her advocacy for inclusive care, Ramos is a community-driven student leader on Drexel’s campus. She is the co-founder of Drexel Indigenous Students of the Americas, a student group that is creating safe spaces and learning communities on campus about indigenous cultures. The group is open to Indigenous students as well as allies. Together, they are advocating for greater inclusion and representation on campus.
“I remember when Sky Harper, the president of Drexel Indigenous Students, reached out to me and told me that he had an idea to start a group for Native Americans on campus to increase their voice and representation on campus,” Ramos shares. “Immediately, I knew this was the right thing to do. Together, we decided to expand the group to Indigenous students, since many Latinx students, like myself, have Indigenous roots blended into our identities.”
Since their founding in March 2021, Drexel Indigenous Students of the Americas has led several on-campus events, including mental health check-ins, and collaborated with Drexel leadership to incorporate land acknowledgements into university events. Thanks to her persistent efforts, Drexel’s University Commencement ceremony in June 2022 included a land acknowledgement for the first time, a major achievement for Ramos and Drexel Indigenous students.
“Land acknowledgements are very important to us,” Ramos explains. “We need to recognize that the land on which we stand was stolen from Indigenous communities. We need to acknowledge this history and the reality of this situation. A quote I heard once that resonates for me is: ‘it was not our fault, but it is our responsibility.’”
This fall, Ramos says Drexel Indigenous Students of the Americas will remain active on campus and the group is in process of planning more cultural events throughout the school year. As Ramos completes her studies at Drexel and prepares to graduate at the end of the fall 2022 quarter, she says that she will apply everything she has learned at Drexel and in community with others in her career.
“I want to be a genuine support system for my future patients,” Ramos concludes. “I want to be there for them when they are at their most vulnerable and advocate for knowing and caring for the whole person, not just their symptoms.”
Written by Izzy López