Informally co-founded by three undocumented youth in the San Francisco Bay Area, Pre-Health Dreamers was formed out of the need for answers in their personal pursuits of higher education at the graduate and medical levels. Angel, Denisse, and New have paved their own paths throughout college and have leveraged each person’s expertise in skillful advocacy, networking, and community-building to build a community, resource, and forum. The varied but unique backgrounds and perspectives of each individual contribute to the ambitious mission of Pre-Health Dreamers.




Ph.D. Candidate - University of California, San Francisco



M.D. - University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine
MPH - Harvard University



M.D. Student - Mount Sinai, Icahn School of Medicine
MPH Student - Harvard University

Our Stories


From Pre-Health to Medical Residency: Undocumented Trailblazers

For the first time in our history we were able to host a panel with PHD members representing the different stages in the journey to becoming a practicing doctor. Our panel includes an undergraduate student, a medical student and a medical resident.


What Will Happen to Undocumented Doctors

“DACA is ‘tied to so many opportunities, to take it away with a stroke of a pen is heartbreaking.’”

- Denisse Rojas

What Will Happen to Undocumented Doctors? is a short film by the Atlantic that goes over the conseuquences for medical students and interns if DACA is rescinded. Denisse Rojas, Jirayut New Latthivongskorn, Marina Di Bartolo, Cesar Montolongo are a few of the undocumented medical and residents students who lives have been positively impacted by the creation DACA. Due to this policy, they have been able to get into medical school and have the possibility of working as doctors. Working to be doctors, these individuals are working to address the shortage the needs of medically underserved populations and improve healthcare in the United States. If DACA were to be rescinded, the career prospects

For administrators of these medical schools, it is difficult of enough to get the university to fund the education of undocumented medical students. It will only become more difficult if the possibility for work is taken away by the rescission of DACA. 


Medical School 'Dreamers' Face Uncertainty With Trump

"You can have someone in a hospital serving patients but take it all away with one signature."

- Katharine Gin

In the short film Medical School 'Dreamers' Face Uncertainty With Trump by the Wall Street Journal, Jirayut 'New' Latthivongskorn recounts the current problem that undocumented medical students face. The film touches on DACA and how it helps undocumented immigrants aspiring to be health professionals. The film also explains the current threat facing these undocumented immigrants by the Trump Administration, the threat of DACA being terminated and what that means for the students with DACA. Dreamers are facing another challenge, facing the uncertainty of the Trump Administration and its proposal to end DACA. 


Dreamers to Doctors

“I want to make sure families like mine… can stay intact, can continue to provide for their kids and give them that future that they came to this country for.”

- Aime Castillo Mazantini

Dreamers to Doctors is a short film that focuses on four undocumented youth who are aspiring to become health professionals. The film shares their immigration stories, their motivations for pursuing a career in the health profession, the barriers they have faced along their journeys, and the opportunities that exists.

The film touches upon the Affordable Care Act that has enabled more people to obtain health coverage including many people who are immigrants with limited English Proficiency. Dreamers to Doctors highlights the need for culturally diverse doctors and how undocumented youth can help address the shortage of healthcare professionals—particularly primary care doctors—to meet the needs of the newly insured.

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Our Work


Key Resources

2019 Breaking More Barriers Report

This report contains survey data that was collected by Pre-Health Dreamers (PHD), a national organization that serves over 800 undocumented youth interested in and currently pursuing health and health science careers. Specifically, the survey elucidates the demographics of undocumented students pursuing health and health-science careers, describes the barriers they face within educational settings (e.g. access to pre-health advisors and career advising, financial aid challenges, and peer support networks), provides insights to their lived experiences (e.g. key challenges they have faced due to their immigration status), and describes their career aspirations (e.g. which degree programs they are pursuing and if they wish to practice in underserved areas). The survey was designed to build on previous initiatives and be a collaborative project with continued input and guidance from PHD staff.

2019 Guidance for Residency Programs on Considering Applicants with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals

This brief communication provides updated guidance to residency programs on considering applicants with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). In 2015, we authored a guide that provides comprehensive information on this topic and was subsequently published in Academic Medicine in 2017.1 This 2019 update provides supplemental information given changes since 2017 in the legal and political landscape.

This information is intended for decision makers and leaders who influence residency programs at their institutions

This guide was compiled in good faith and reflects our best efforts to be accurate. This is not legal advice.

Letter addressed to medical residency program directors in relation to DACA medical students.

This chart explores the different health professions career pathways, namely Medicine, Nursing, Dentistry, and Pharmacy, outlining the institutional obstacles and opportunities at various stages of the journey.

Frequently asked questions about and answers about medical school for pre-med undocumented students across the nation.

We created this document in order to answer questions that may come up when you are considering your path into medicine.

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