Starving for Diversity

While sitting here prepping for my pediatrics preceptor visit, I came across this video(below) shared by my brother Marvin L. Mills II​. The lack of diversity in the writer’s room allows stereotypes, err racism, to thrive. This not only applies to film and television; but also, it pertains to medicine. I am grateful to be at one of the most- if not THE most- diverse medical schools in the country. Diversity is not just a matter of socially constructed concepts like race and gender. It is found in different opinions, ideas, belief systems, and life experiences. When all of these concepts come to the table, the menu caters to a nourishing sustenance that alters schemas into a much more palatable and tolerant form. Whether are not the invitations to the table exist, is often the crux of the matter, as systemic ideologies and institutionalized barriers deprive the “carte du jour” of the opportunity for diverse satiety. When the “token” representative is the only one at the table, it is burdensome, yet this person often serves as an icebreaker to a glacier that is an entendre. On one hand this person has a story to tell, which is much more than surface deep. Secondly, others perceive this token at face value or the top of the glacier as one riddled with notions entrenched by stereotypes, media, fear, judgement, and prejudice. The challenge is then for this person to break through the mold of years of prescription, survive, and hopefully create a lane for those who follow to run in, while also contributing to the tolerance of their present audience. In a way, this cycle has taken shape, as evidenced by the Civil Rights Movement, the first biracial (black) president, interracial marriage, and the exhaustive list that can follow. However, the need for concepts like #blacklivesmatter, #icantbreath or the existence unequal pay for women, the lack of diversity in higher education, or republican candidates who I refuse to name, shows us that still have some work to do!

Positively Influence,



This is the stuff that moves me. This stuff keeps me up at night, yet it is the same thing that helps me sleep, knowing that there is goodness and beauty in the world. Goodness, beauty, worth, dignity, and love lives in each of us. Paulo Freire says that “Without a minimum of hope, we cannot so much as start the struggle.” And as this poet, Raimundo Arruda Sobrinho says, “Hope is the heaviest weight a man can carry. It is the bane of the idealist.” Both quotes are true. In order to have hope, you most hope. When you have it, maintaining it is often the hardest thing, especially if you’ve been homeless for nearly half your life.

<p><a href=”″>The Conditioned</a> from <a href=””>Facebook Stories</a> on <a href=””>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

Status Post Workout Wednesday: “MS1”

Yesterday was Workout Wednesday, and so many first year medical students came! We had our largest group so far with over 20 participants. Usually I try to anticipate how many people will show up, but I was not prepared for such a large group. Nonetheless, we made it work, and we all had a tough, but awesome workout (see below)!

This was the first full week of classes for the new first year medical students, so I want to thank all of them for taking time out of their busy schedules to join us for WW. Unfortunately, I forgot to take a picture to show you what an amazing group we had yesterday, so if anyone took pictures feel free to post them in the comments or send them over to me.

I did anticipate that there would be more first year medical students than we’ve ever had, so in honor of them I named this workout: MS1!


5 Rounds for Veterans

3 Rounds for Beginners

-Squat Jumps (modification-body squats)10

-Crossover lunges (modification-regular lunges) 20 (10 each leg)

-Alternating planks (modification-alternating on knees) 20 (10 each set)

-V-ups 10 (modification-crunches)


Positively Influence,


From Left to Right, Emmy Aceves, Keyon Mitchell, Dave Jones, Dolores Huerta, Umer Waris

Medicare and a Memory With Dolores Huerta

Today, I had the opportunity to speak at a Medicare Rally in Frank Ogawa Plaza in Oakland to honor the 50th birthday of Medicare. I know many of you could not be there, so I wanted to share my speech with you below. I also had the pleasure to meet and share a photo with Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones and Dolores Huerta, a living legend and historic community organizer. I was humbled and inspired by the amazing and dedicated advocates around me. I look forward to continuing the fight to make sure the United States provides healthcare to all of us. Quite frankly, the fact that we do not is unacceptable!

Be on the lookout for:



Happy Birthday Medicare!

Dear Medicare,

On July 30, 1965, you were inked into law. You are much wiser and older than I am. You were surrounded by revolutionaries like the Voting Rights Act and the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965. Your selflessness contributed to the desegregation of the south, because hospitals who racially discriminated against their patients would not receive any federal funding granted to them in your name. You were a civil rights advocate lifting older Americans out of desperation, when 1 in 3 adults over 65 years of age was in poverty. You are a legend, like Cesar Chavez, Martin Luther King Jr, and like the legend who will grace this mic in a few moments, Dolores Huerta!!

We are facing difficult times now. We have to tweet phrases like #blacklivesmatter, as if we were transported back to the decade of your inception. And like healthcare justice, our battle cry is loud and clear. Medicare you deserve more. You deserve more than I can give you as a second year medical student. Sometimes, I get so frustrated with the limitations of our healthcare system, it begins to make me sick.  Almost as sick the patients who frequent our student run clinics, because although they may have insurance, it pales in comparison to you. You do so much for our elders, yet you are not allowed to help the rest of us, who are incessantly thirsting for more. You have not been allowed to reach your potential. You are ripe with sagacity and tenacity to lift us from the depths of our desperation, as present and future practitioner who want to make sure we are all accounted for. Not just the ones who can afford to pay for health insurance, not just the ones attempting to navigate bronze, silver, gold and platinum plans that fall into a hierarchical jigsaw puzzle we call a healthcare system. But, hold fast Medicare; we are fighting for Medicare For All with you and for you. Today we are with you, Medicare and again on October 1st, Students for A National Health Program (SNaHP) with students all over the country will hold teach-ins, candle-light vigils, and marches to highlight the thousands of people who die each year because they do not have health insurance! So you see Medicare, you may be older, wiser and have just a bit more patient experience, but just know that we are the new revolutionaries standing on the shoulders of giants like you! Thank you for all you have done and we will not stop until we true health for all, through Medicare for all!

Thank you!


Positively Influence

Hindsight is 20/20

Today (or yesterday) was one of my favorite days of the week, “Workout Wednesday!” I get so excited because it feels like we are doing something good. For the past 4 weeks, a few of my friends and me have been getting together once a week to move our bodies. Amongst our busy schedules as medical students, it’s difficult to stay sane, but one of the ways we like to do that, is to exercise. We are currently in our Brain and Behavior block, so endorphins, which are thought to inhibit the transmission of pain and induce euphoria, are desperately needed. Workout Wednesday is one of the ways we stock up on those endorphins!

Anyway, we’ve had midterms for the last two days, Monday was Pharmacology, Psychiatry and Doctoring, and a Neuroanatomy practical.  Tuesday was written Neuroanatomy, Neurology, and Neuropathology. The first day of midterms was not too bad, but I literally had to pull off a miracle on Monday night to prepare for Tuesday. The week before midterms I spent an inordinate amount of time applying for a scholarship. It took some time away from studying, so I didn’t get a chance to study as much as wanted to in the days leading up to our midterms. However, the meaning and purpose behind this scholarship was so important to me, that I just had to apply. Long story short, lets just say some parts of midterms went well, while others, not so much. But hey, what can I do about that now?

Well, as I was designing today’s workout, I reminded myself that understanding the past is easy, what you change to maximize your potential going forward is the key. One of the positives of struggling through adversity is that you learn from it. Hindsight is 20/20, and you change the way you approach obstacles so you don’t go insane if you get the same results. Thus, today’s workout was  “HINDSIGHT.” (See Details Below). Unfortunately, it was about 102 degrees when the workout was scheduled, so only two people were there-myself included.

Oh by the way, that scholarship I was talking about, I got it :)! I guess Hindsight is 20/20.



(3 Rounds)

  • Double Leg Hops for height (20 Yards)
  • 20 Crunches
  • Alternating Skips for Height (20 Yards)
  • 20 Body Squats
  • Broad Jumps for Distance (20 yards)
  • 20 second Planks or 20 push-ups (modified because my wrist is injured)

Positively Influence,


Workout Wednesday- “40-40 Club”

Workout Wednesday

July 22, 2015

Dynamic Warm Up

-Jog 0.5 miles

-20 Circling Jumping Jacks, 20 Side-ways arm swinging skips (switch half-way), Skips for height,

-Walking Toe Touches, Walking Knee Holds, Walking Knee Grabs, Ankle Rolls both ways, (10-15 Steps each-Jog it out)

-High Knees 30 yards

-A skips 30 yards

-C-skips 30 yards

-3 straight sprints (50 meters, increasing in velocity each one shuffle step back to start in between (50%, 50%, 75%))

Strength/Endurance Workout

      “40-40 Club”

4 Sets of:

Walking Lunges (10 meters)

10 Crunches

10 Body Squats

10 pushups

Run Stairs

-Jog .5 miles slowly  (shoes and socks optional)

-Static Stretching as Group.

Positively Influence,