Melanin in Medicine


javier pic.jpg
 Original artwork by Javier Galvan.

Original artwork by Javier Galvan.

Javier Galvan, MD & MPH Candidate

Preferred pronouns: he/him

Hometown: I was born in Orange, CA but have lived in Livermore, CA since I was ten.

Education: I attended Las Positas Community College for two years after a four-year enlistment in the United States Marine Corps. I then transferred to San Francisco State University where I graduated with a BA in Biology. I am a PRIME medical student at the University of California, San Francisco. I am studying Public Health at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Why did you choose medicine? I chose medicine serendipitously. For my deployment to Afghanistan, the military trained me as a Combat Lifesaver and I ended up falling in love with physiology and decided I would leave the service to study medicine. I did not know what it meant to want to be a physician, but I was steadfast in my decision. As a community college student, I spent a summer at Stanford’s School of Medicine Summer Health Careers Opportunity Program where I met medical students and physicians who looked like me. It was here where I realized that I was looking for a mentor to help me along the way. One particular physician here took a particular interest in me and encouraged me to pursue my goals and helped me along the way.

Where are you now? I recently finished my 3rd year of medical student and took a gap year to earn my master’s degree. I am currently studying Public Health as a Sommer Scholar at Johns Hopkins.

What do you love most about your work? I love giving back to my community. My favorite part of what I do is being a role model for people who look like me. At UCSF, I had the privilege to take part in multiple summer programs for youth in the San Francisco Bay Area. Through this experience, I started a one-week brain theme summer camp called Brain Camp. I am a firm believer that our youth are our future and believe we should invest more in making sure they are prepared to live productive lives.

What are your hobbies and interests? I love creating and giving back! In my spare time, I make my own skin care products. I created my own company called Bee Life to help cover some of the cost of medical school. I am also working on a Podcast with another fellow classmate to discuss topics in medicine from the patient’s viewpoint.

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