Maria Soto-Greene has worked for almost 30 years supporting underrepresented students and faculty throughout their careers in medicine.
The executive vice dean of Rutgers New Jersey Medical School has received accolades and awards for being a champion of diversity, inclusion and equity.
But to really understand why Soto-Greene is as committed today as she was when she first started her career in medicine in 1980, you need to examine the layers of her life. Underneath, she says, you will find that the path she took to get to where she is today is much like the one taken by the more than 1,000 students and 200 minority faculty who have been mentored through the Hispanic Center of Excellence and its Centers for Excellence Consortium on Minority Faculty Development, both of which she helped start.
The key lessons in life came deeply rooted from my family, said Soto-Greene. My grandmother was the matriarch of the family. She was a fascinating individual who worked hard through the (Great) Depression, didnt have much, but never spoke ill of anyone.
Growing up, Soto-Greene lived in a four-room flat in Hoboken. Neither of her parents, who came to New Jersey from Puerto Rico, graduated from high school. Her mother was still a teenager when she was born. At 16, her family had little money, no health insurance and couldnt afford a telephone.
The same year, her 15-year-old brother died before being diagnosed by a doctor. Soto-Greene, an internist, said he went blind and believes her brother probably had a brain tumor. After his death she became the go to person to handle family concern.
Four years later, as she was about to graduate from what is now Douglass Residential College, an assistant dean at New Jersey Medical School, who taught a course she took at Rutgers, gave her some life-altering advice. When Soto-Greene told him that she planned to begin her career as a medical technologist, he recognized her potential and encouraged her to pursue a career as a doctor.
That led to the work she has been doing over the past three decades to improve the lives of minority students and encourage them to go into the medical and other health professions field.
He asked me what I was going to do for the rest of my life, said Soto-Greene, who started her career in critical care and emergency medicine. If he hadnt, I can say that I wouldnt be where I am today.
Soto-Greenes story is like that of Jesus Rosado, a surgical resident at NJMS, who says the thought of becoming a doctor from a single-parent home where no one in the family had gone to college was just a dream until age 16 when he got involved in the Summer Youth Scholars program at the medical schools Hispanic Center of Excellence.
Everything changed the moment I was accepted to participate, Rosado said. It was there I would meet other people just like me. I was inspired to pursue my dreams and make them into a reality.
Soto-Greene says she realized from the beginning of her career that certain people have advantages and others often feel like they have negative labels on their backs. They may be poor, come from under-educated families, and arent expected to do well.
There are individuals who have incredible potential but dont get tapped, she said. It is so important when you achieve success that you dont forget how you got there and provide support and help to others who will come after you.
Thats why, she said, she wanted to create the student and faculty organizations that focus on minority populations. I believe that everyone needs a group where they feel comfortable and supported, she said. We need allies because this is collectively going to inspire us all to make a difference.
Soto-Greene who got her start with support from the New Jersey Educational Opportunity Fund, which assists low-income students who are capable and motivated but not adequately prepared for college has been recognized for developing and supporting enrichment programs for high school and college students.
Recently, she received the Association of American Medical Colleges 2019 Herbert W. Nickens Award, given to individuals who make outstanding contributions to promoting justice in medical education and health care equity in the United States.
Still, she understands that there is a lot more to do to increase diversity in the medical field. According to a new study published in JAMA Network Open, although the actual number of minority students in medical schools increased between 2002-2017, the rate of increase does not mirror the populations that they serve.
We have not fulfilled the potential and there are too many people that are being excluded, Soto-Greene said. But it starts with the students and our communities. If we focus on these areas, our nation can thrive.
See the rest here:
- Planning to go to Medical School? Join the Great Lakes Applicant Workshop - University of Wisconsin-Madison - May 24th, 2020
- Mother-Daughter Duo Become First To Graduate From Medical School At The Same Time And Match At The Same Hospital - Because of Them We Can - May 24th, 2020
- Its the American dream: Law school and medical school grads visit their grandpa at La Crescenta nursing home in emotional reunion amid pandemic - KTLA... - May 24th, 2020
- Answering the Call: Med school grads plan to practice in the Valley - Brownsville Herald - May 24th, 2020
- Business Observer for the week of May 24 - Asheboro Courier Tribune - May 24th, 2020
- Grad Profile: Med School valedictorian reflects on L.A. filmmaking past and a new future in medicine - Dal News - May 24th, 2020
- Chicago family holds backyard graduation for their medical student daughter and her friend - FOX 32 Chicago - May 24th, 2020
- What Do Trump And Yale Medical School Have In Common? Both Were Duped About A COVID-19 Treatment - Forbes - May 19th, 2020
- From Medical School To Fighting COVID-19 On The Front Lines At Bellevue Hospital - NPR - May 19th, 2020
- Hartselle grad follows dream from pitcher's mound to medical school - The Hartselle Enquirer - Hartselle Enquirer - May 19th, 2020
- Medicine in Motion - Harvard Medical School - May 19th, 2020
- COVID-19 is in our sewage. Duluth medical school researchers say that could be useful - Duluth News Tribune - May 19th, 2020
- COVID-19 means a shorter MCAT: What aspiring med students must know - American Medical Association - May 19th, 2020
- UT Health Austin and Dell Medical School looking for volunteers interested in helping with COVID-19 contact tracing - KVUE.com - May 19th, 2020
- Doctors In Training Learn Hard Lessons During The Pandemic - NPR - May 19th, 2020
- Harvard Medical School Professor Burton 'Bud' Rose, the 'Steve Jobs of Medicine,' Dies at 77 | News - Harvard Crimson - May 19th, 2020
- Ode to Burton 'Bud' Rose, MD - Renal and Urology News - May 19th, 2020
- Wisconsin medical students are graduating onto the front lines of coronavirus - Milwaukee Journal Sentinel - May 19th, 2020
- Using the power of peer support to positively impact medicine - American Medical Association - May 19th, 2020
- Global study to test malaria drug to protect health workers from COVID-19 - Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis - May 19th, 2020
- Sarah Peyre named dean of Warner School - University of Rochester - May 19th, 2020
- TTUHSC named most affordable medical school in the country - KLBK | KAMC | EverythingLubbock.com - April 26th, 2020
- Shortened MCAT exams, extended AMCAS deadlines: How the pandemic has upended medical school admissions - AAMC - April 26th, 2020
- Rowan University's two medical schools will offer early graduation to aid fight against coronavirus - Rowan Today - April 26th, 2020
- Inside the Jefferson medical archives, where the most popular item is 1840's 'Anatomy of the Breast' - Billy Penn - April 26th, 2020
- Early LSU Health grad to serve locally on front lines of COVID-19 - Shreveport Times - April 26th, 2020
- How COVID-19 is affecting medical school admissions - American Medical Association - April 11th, 2020
- OUWB on the frontline: Medical school students, alumni, and faculty battle COVID-19 - News at OU - April 11th, 2020
- After early graduation, Vestal native and new doctor is off to fight on COVID-19 front lines - Pressconnects - April 11th, 2020
- Fighting COVID-19: Enabling Graduating Students to Start Internship Early at Their Own Medical School - Annals of Internal Medicine - April 11th, 2020
- Governor Lamonts executive order permits recent medical school grads to begin practicing during pandemic, implements new workplace safety rules -... - April 11th, 2020
- After early graduation, med student joins the battle - Eagle-Tribune - April 11th, 2020
- Grace: Creighton med students can't be in the hospital, but they're still finding ways to help - Omaha World-Herald - April 11th, 2020
- I'm the head of a medical school. But doctors like me are going back to the frontline - The Guardian - March 20th, 2020
- Thousands of medical students are being fast-tracked into doctors to help fight the coronavirus - CNN - March 20th, 2020
- Medical Training Must Include Education in Abortion Care. Here's Where to Start. - Ms. Magazine - March 20th, 2020
- Expert advice and tips from Warwick Medical School on how to look after our wellbeing and mental health during the coronavirus pandemic - Warwick... - March 20th, 2020
- Coronavirus Live Updates: Hospitals on Both Sides of the Atlantic Struggle as Cases Climb - The New York Times - March 20th, 2020
- As COVID-19 battle escalates, U of T students offer busy health-care workers help on the home front - News@UofT - March 20th, 2020
- Chloroquine May Fight Covid-19and Silicon Valleys Into It - WIRED - March 20th, 2020
- Stopping Contagion With Science at UM: A Look Back - University of Michigan Health System News - March 20th, 2020
- Research Associate - Bristol Medical School job with UNIVERSITY OF BRISTOL | 200491 - Times Higher Education (THE) - March 20th, 2020
- Medical education in 2020: How we got here, where we're headed - American Medical Association - March 20th, 2020
- Understanding what works: How the coronavirus is being beaten back - STAT - March 20th, 2020
- Medical Student Organizing in the Time of COVID-19 - Pager Publications, Inc. - March 20th, 2020
- UK universities switching to online lectures and exams - The Guardian - March 16th, 2020
- Marianne Neifert: Find a need and fill it - The Denver Channel - March 16th, 2020
- Medical School Coming to Northside Regeneration in St. Louis - ConnectCRE - March 16th, 2020
- Aging Out of the Mammogram - The New York Times - March 16th, 2020
- Medical Students Proceed with Caution as New York City Campuses Maintain Some Activity - Cornell University The Cornell Daily Sun - March 16th, 2020
- Cured: inside the remarkable world of unexplained medical recoveries - Telegraph.co.uk - March 16th, 2020
- Mass. General, Brigham and Women's, Harvard Medical School shutting down most research labs to try to slow spread of coronavirus - Universal Hub - March 16th, 2020
- Mount Sinai boosts diversity with education programs - ModernHealthcare.com - March 16th, 2020
- California calls on millions of senior citizens to stay home because of coronavirus. What you need to know - Los Angeles Times - March 16th, 2020
- Students note the challenges of medical school debt and look toward tuition options - The Daily Tar Heel - March 5th, 2020
- Realizing the medical school dream, for himself and his family - Scope - March 5th, 2020
- University School of Medicine surpassed funding record with grants from NIH - University of Virginia The Cavalier Daily - March 5th, 2020
- Arcturus Therapeutics and Duke-NUS Medical School Partner to Develop a Coronavirus (COVID-19) Vaccine using STARR TechnologyCollaboration seeks to... - March 5th, 2020
- Paying the Price - Harvard Medical School - March 5th, 2020
- Women Have Closed Med School Enrollment Gap; Others Remain - AAFP News - March 5th, 2020
- Stopping the Second Hit - Harvard Medical School - March 5th, 2020
- More than just a liberal arts university: How the Law School and Med School put USD on the map - The Volante - March 5th, 2020
- WSU and Henry Ford Health System host World Congress Ultrasound in Medical Education - The South End - March 5th, 2020
- CRISPR Used To Edit Genes Inside A Patient With A Rare Form Of Blindness : Shots - Health News - NPR - March 5th, 2020
- In Other News: UT med student starts fresh food delivery service to help those in need - KVUE.com - March 5th, 2020
- Jacobs School students ditch their white coats for chef's coats - UB Now: News and views for UB faculty and staff - University at Buffalo Reporter - March 5th, 2020
- Illuminating the Athletic Aorta - Harvard Medical School - March 5th, 2020
- 10 Costs to Expect When Applying to Medical School - Yahoo Finance - January 30th, 2020
- Pre-Med Students Across The US Increasingly Take Gap Years Before Medical School - Loyola Phoenix - January 30th, 2020
- Bill Gates daughter Jennifer engaged to fellow Stanford alum - East Bay Times - January 30th, 2020
- AAMC launches new initiative to address and eliminate gender inequities - AAMC - January 30th, 2020
- Cedar Rapids Family Medicine Residency, created to address shortage, announces upcoming closure - The Gazette - January 30th, 2020
- Academic medicine on the front lines of the coronavirus outbreak - AAMCNews - January 30th, 2020
- 2020-21 tuition, room, board, fees announced - Washington University in St. Louis Newsroom - January 30th, 2020
- Three Tulanians honored with STEM awards - News from Tulane - January 30th, 2020
- How Indian Doctors Get a Medical License in the US - Voice of America - January 30th, 2020
- 'Unfathomable Amounts Of Blood On The Floor' Testimony Continues In TriMet Stabbing Trial - OPB News - January 30th, 2020
- 'Beethoven mice' prevent deafness: Medicine's next big thing? - WNDU-TV - January 30th, 2020
- State Rep. Blanco presents Resolution to Honor Paul L. Foster School of Medicine's 10-Year Anniversary - El Paso Herald-Post - January 30th, 2020
- Work in Healthcare? ZDoggMD Wants Your Voice to Be Heard - Medscape - January 30th, 2020