What was my biggest obstacle?
I never really had any major obstacles. I always worked hard and had my goals to achieve and achieved them. I always had a lot of support from my family.
How do I make a difference?
I think I make a difference on a daily basis with my patients I see and follow before, during and after their childbearing years. I enable women to make informed choices regarding their health care needs.
Who was my mentor?
My first mentor was my father. He was born in the Philippines and was recruited to come to the United States to work in underserved areas. He worked very hard his entire life to help support his family and meet the needs of his patients.
My second mentor, in absentia, was Susan La Flesche Picotte, M.D. She was one of the first Native American women physicians.
My third mentor, but not the least, was my grandmother Mary Lieb Mitchell. She always emphasized that getting an education was the only way to make it in life. She raised thirteen children on the Omaha Reservation and the ones who survived childhood all went on to receive college degrees, which was definitely a big achievement during those times.
Lastly, my mother is one of my most influential mentors. Growing up in poverty on the Omaha Reservation she was able to surpass many obstacles and receive her nursing degree. This allowed her to move off the reservation and find a better life for her family. She also raised five children three daughters, including myself, are physicians and two sons are also very successful in their careers.