Reposted from the University of California news story profiling California's Next Doctors, which includes students from all of medical schools.
Throughout Skylar Rains’ early childhood, her mom struggled with a chronic illness, and Rains spent a lot of time shuttling back and forth with her to the doctor. She was nine when her mom passed away during surgery.
“I definitely wouldn’t be the person I am today if that didn’t happen,” Skylar says. “My dad tells the story of how I set my sights on becoming a doctor on the day she passed, when I said, ‘I want to become a doctor because I don’t want any other little girls to have to go through what we’re going through.’”
Since that formative moment, Rains’ desire to become a physician has never wavered. As an undergrad at UC San Diego, she studied physiology and neuroscience. And for two years in college, she spent her Fridays shadowing a family medicine physician, seeing the bond of trust that the doctor had formed with her long-time patients and dreaming of building a similar practice for herself.
Her first pick for medical school was UC Riverside, which opened its doors 10 years ago with the express purpose of training doctors who are committed to providing care in the Inland Empire, one of the most medically underserved regions in California.
“Being from Riverside, I’ve seen the difficulties that people have in getting access to high-quality care in a reasonable time frame. That’s what attracted me to UC Riverside — their mission, first and foremost, is to create doctors who want to serve inland Southern California.
“I really took that mission to heart because this is the community that made me into who I am today. I have a huge love and respect for that, it gave me the inspiration to want to serve them and fill the need.”
Later this month, she will be among the thousands of students around the country participating in Match Day, the moment when graduating medical school students learn where they will serve their residencies.
“I'm so excited and a little bit nervous, but I think it's going to be such a great day,” Rains said.
“My dad's the biggest proponent of me going into family medicine, so he's going to be really proud.”