Full Name: Marcela Zhou

Hometown: Mexicali/ Baja California, Mexico

School: David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA

Program: UCLA PRIME (MD/ Master's)


I was born in Mexicali, Baja California, Mexico to Chinese parents and moved to Calexico, CA, when I was twelve. I went to community college and then transferred and graduated from University of California, San Diego, in 2012. Given the challenges I encountered as an undocumented immigrant, I am particularly interested in the relationship between health and cultural, educational, and linguistic factors. I chose to pursue a career in medicine and a graduate program that will allow me to better understand and alleviate the socioeconomic determinants of health in underserved and immigrant communities.

Fun Fact:

I am 100% Chinese and a native Spanish speaker.

What advice would you give to future undocumented students applying to graduate programs?

Don't compare yourself to others who are applying to the same programs you are. You have very unique experiences and insight that will make you shine in your own right!