Alissa Gonzalez is a south Texas girl through and through.
Born and raised in Hebbronville, and now a Harlingen resident moved to Laredo after high school to study biology at Texas A&M International University.
Her next stop was San Antonio, where she studied at the UT-Health Science Center for two years, before returning to the Valley for the third year of medical school, where she works with hospitals in Santa Rosa and Weslaco for on-the-job experience.
"During our third year is when we start clinical rotations and stuff. So they give us the option to come down here to the Valley," Gonzalez said. "I usually go in before the doctor and interview (the patients), try to get their story... sort of figure out what the cause of their problem is. I'll do a quick physical exam to try and get any more information and then I discuss it with the doctor and from there we come up with a plan."
Gonzalez is set to finish her third year of medical school in seven weeks, at which point she'll return to San Antonio for the fourth and final year.
Gonzalez hopes to specialize in psychology or neurology once she has received her doctorate degree.
"I really like the brain," Gonzalez said. "I like the way it works, all the neurotransmitters and how everything sort of plays together with each other... and it's all coming from this very complicated, very elegant system."
Gonzalez is determined to reach her goal of becoming a doctor.
She's known since high school she wanted to get into the medical field.
"There is this program called Med-Ed and they came and talked to our (high school) class, sort of laid everything out and I thought 'I'll check that out and see if I like it,'" Gonzalez said. "So I did a couple things with them. I went to some programs where one of the deans at my medical school now gave a little talk on what it's like to be in medical school. So I chatted with one of the family medicine doctors when I want in high school and I spent a summer where every afternoon I would go and see patients with him."
Having lived in so many different parts of South Texas, Gonzalez has a good grasp of the area.
She said the Valley is definitely one of her favorite parts of the region.
"There are some similarities between Hebbronville, Laredo and the Valley. There's a lot of hispanic people and that's what I grew up around so in that sense I feel like I'm home, but at the same time, the people in Laredo or just very different. I'll just leave it at that," Gonzalez said. "Everyone is just so nice (here). Everyone is very willing to help you out."
(c)2013 Valley Morning Star (Harlingen, Texas)
Visit Valley Morning Star (Harlingen, Texas) at www.valleymorningstar.com
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