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David Geffen School of Medicine

Postcard from Tijuana, Mexico

UCLA Flying Samaritans
Efrain Talamantes, MD ’08 (back row fifth from left), with UCLA Flying Samaritans students at Colonia Margarita Moran, just outside of Tijuana, Mexico. Photo: Courtesy of UCLA Flying Samaritans

Efrain Talamantes, MD ’08, completed a residency in internal medicine at UC Davis, earned an MBA degree at the Goizueta School of Business of Emory University and is currently a Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar at UCLA and the Department of Veterans Affairs in West Los Angeles. His research focus is on improving health access for vulnerable populations. Dr. Talamantes serves as the medical advisor for the newly established UCLA chapter of Flying Samaritans. Its mission is to provide healthcare for underserved communities, specifically the rural community of Colonia Margarita Moran, just outside of Tijuana, Mexico.

As an internal-medicine physician, I have a goal to find ways to improve the health of patients, who lack access to basic healthcare services, through collaborative efforts like the UCLA Flying Samaritans. Every third Saturday, we team up with a group of physicians and other healthcare-provider preceptors and pre-health students in order to drive to Tijuana, Mexico. With the help of translators, the student volunteers busily triage adults and children to various health stations. Together, we see each patient and develop a plan of care. There are countless teaching moments to deliver quality care in a resource-limited environment. My role as medical advisor is also to ensure that the patients get the care they need or to refer them to any available local resources.

To learn more about UCLA Flying Samaritans, go to: flyingsamaritansatucla.org



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