New York, NY
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
Jennifer Lewis is a Puerto Rican American who grew up in northern New Jersey and went on to attend the University of Notre Dame. A few months before college graduation, she felt impassioned to move to a Spanish-speaking country to explore her aspirations of practicing medicine as a Latin American female. Soon enough, she found herself volunteering with the Red Cross in the Ecuadorian Amazon. With each passing day, she gained a greater understanding of barriers to health care while also learning to establish secure relationships with patients. Although she could not communicate with some patients in the indigenous language of Kichwa, she discovered that providing empathy and interacting with patients went beyond the confines of verbal communication. It meant understanding body language, considering cultural context, and practicing cultural humility. She felt a deep sense of peace with these patients during their most vulnerable times, reaffirming her desire to provide safe and supportive relationships as a healthcare provider.
Jennifer matriculated into California University of Science and Medicine in 2021, emboldened to make a difference in medicine. She has continued to follow her passion and found herself immersed in the field of oncology, mainly because of its unique intersection between medicine and human vulnerability. Her experiences have nurtured her talent for creating safe and meaningful interpersonal relationships, and she aims to implement these skills as a hematologist/oncologist. From conducting oncologic literature reviews to hosting free mammogram screening events, she is fascinated with learning more and contributing to this field of medicine. Jennifer’s interpersonal passions drive her to be an empathetic physician; however, her dedication to making an impact that transcends the physician-patient relationship drives her to help advance novel oncology research in order to improve patient outcomes in communities far beyond her daily medical practice. The LLS-URM program perfectly aligns with her aspirations, and she is devoted to being a valued laboratory investigator, learning from her colleagues, and implementing these skills in her future practice.