Student Spotlight: Yamile Cruz Sousa

Yamile Clinical Skills

Both of Yamile Cruz Sousa’s parents are doctors, so it is no surprise that she is now on the path to earning her MD. But one thing you don’t often hear from medical students is part of their journey included being held captive by the Cuban government for 7 years.

Born amidst Cuba’s vibrant yet tumultuous backdrop, Yamile’s childhood was marked by her father’s imprisonment for seeking medical assistance from the United States. After a category 4 hurricane hit the island, Yamile’s father, Florencio Cruz, contacted a radio station in the U.S. in a plea to obtain medical supplies like alcohol swabs and medications so he could aid in the recovery effort. After Cuban officials found out about his request for help, Yamile’s father was immediately arrested.

While Yamile’s family was granted a visa to come to the United States, it was a process that would take 7 long years to complete due to the Cuban government requiring her parents to work off the debt of their medical school educations. In 2008, although she had to leave most of her family behind, 13-year-old Yamile and her parents finally became free and restarted their lives in Miami, Florida. 

Yamile and her parents

Although Yamile came from a medical family, she still wasn’t sure if medicine was her calling. She obtained a Bachelor’s in Biology at Florida International University (FIU). During her undergraduate studies, she worked as a scribe at Preferred Care Partners, where she began learning medical terminology and discovered her passion for medicine. From there, Yamile decided to attend a big Caribbean medical school. She was going through her basic sciences and everything seemed well until she discovered the medical school’s instability, “There was always some uncertainty on what was going to happen next, we were never sure of how the school was going to handle things.” Eventually, Yamile started noticing that the students she considered great were transferring to Trinity School of Medicine so she started googling the school to explore her options.

“As soon as I submitted my application, I received a call from Trinity. On the same day, they arranged a Zoom meeting. The Trinity advisor was amazing, he was working with me to get everything sorted out.”

Yamile Clinical Skills 1  Yamile Clinical Skills 2

Yamile mentioned that the transitional process was seamless and she appreciated the welcoming nature of the entire Trinity family. During her time at Trinity, Yamile told us she has felt supported by the experienced faculty and the involved student community. She also loves the simulation lab clinics that have given her a small preview of what rotations will be like and have helped her develop a bedside manner. She is currently studying for her Step 1 exam and making good use of the study rooms provided at the Warner Robins learning facilities. 

Yamile and Dr. Manahan  Yamile and Dr. Geisler

“Dr. Kelly Manahan has been so amazing and understanding throughout this whole process. Her grit and determination to help all of us have instilled in me a strong motivation to persist with my goals.”

Yamile told us that because the culture and environment at Trinity are healthy and supportive instead of toxic and competitive, she feels motivated by her fellow classmates and they inspire her to succeed. “You can feel the motivation. You want to move on. You can see it happening to other students so you know that that’s what coming for you. It’s amazing.” 

In her free time, Yamile has attended school events hosted by SGA which have made her feel included and welcomed by the student community. From pool parties to study sessions to volleyball tournaments, Yamile has never felt like an outsider. Currently, Yamile is an active member of TSOM Rotaract, a club that brings medical students and health professionals together to serve and educate the community.

Rotaract Club Group Picture

“The Rotaract club will find you places where you can volunteer as a medical student and I think that’s awesome because it not only shows you what you will be doing in your future but also opens up a door of opportunity to meet other healthcare professionals.”

Yamile Cruz Sousa

For anyone thinking about applying to Trinity, Yamile shared a couple of pieces of advice. “I would say to listen to other students first. Having someone that you trust to tell you about their experiences is the best way to go about it. To the transfer students, I would love to tell them that Trinity does give you the chance to continue your education and pursue your dream.”

Yamile will soon be taking her Step exam and she looks forward to continuing her medical journey and starting her clinical rotations with Trinity. No matter the specialty that she sets her sights on for the Match, she explained that she is beyond excited because she knows Trinity has given her the support and resources to get where she wants to be. 

“I’m glad I transferred to Trinity. There is no part of me that would ever regret the idea of being here.”

If you’re interested in learning how Trinity can support your dream of becoming a doctor, we invite you to reach out to our admissions team today! Contact us here.  

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