Elsy Cruz Parra will be starting college at Augsburg this fall. Credit: Aaron Nesheim

Elsy Cruz Parra participated in an internship through Hennepin Healthcare’s Talent Garden program this summer. She shared her experience with Sahan Journal:

Inspiration: My mom was a pharmacist assistant, and I’ve seen how doctors helped when my mom and my brother were really sick. 

Goal: To make an impact in the BIPOC community.

When we started, I was expecting to just be shadowing doctors, but even on the first day, it was very social. And by the end of the first week, we all liked each other. 

Sometimes you see things that you never thought you would see. Emergency medicine was a very eye-opening department. I only had basic knowledge before, like what you see on TV shows. And it’s very different from that.

I’m very excited for tomorrow, because tomorrow I’m going to the NICU [neonatal intensive care unit]. My brother was in the NICU here.

Before this internship, I was adamant about becoming a physician’s assistant, but now I’m rethinking [that]. The doctors I’ve shadowed, I can kind of see myself doing that. I actually want to become a physician. Wow.

Sheila Mulrooney Eldred writes stories about health equity for Sahan Journal. As a freelance journalist, she has written for The New York Times, the Washington Post, FiveThirtyEight, NPR, STAT News and...