P&S Class of 2016: Angelina Gomes

It seems only natural that Angelina Gomes, MD'16, who grew up in one of the nation's most diverse counties, has already accrued a passport full of stamps from countries in Asia, Africa, Europe, and Central America.

In her Queens high school, the daughter of Bangladeshi immigrants was already asking questions about diversity and why different cultures had different expectations and experiences. The disparities she saw in medical care drove her interest in medicine. “There’s so much work to be done in underserved communities that I want to contribute to here and around the world.”

At Haverford College in rural Pennsylvania, she looked for opportunities to become more directly involved in global health. Through the Center for Peace and Global Citizenship, she worked on three continents during her time as an undergraduate. In Cameroon she worked with HIV centers to reduce the stigma surrounding HIV, and in Bangladesh she helped a census project obtain better demographics for a clinic that served residents of a crowded and neglected neighborhood. In Guatemala she worked in a rural clinic and visited homes, where she was able to observe the “intersection of traditional and western medicine” in women who gave birth at home and then had those babies vaccinated.

After graduation, Dr. Gomes extended her global experience to Europe with a Fulbright teaching assistantship in Spain. Assigned to a school in Madrid, a city with a large population of North Africans that are not always accepted into Spanish society, she and her co-teacher designed a lesson unit on identity and acceptance.

At P&S, she maintained her global interests. After her first year in medical school, she spent the summer in the Dominican Republic and then returned for a year off from medical school to conduct research on sexually transmitted infections in Santo Domingo.

Dr. Gomes will start her internal medicine residency at NYU this summer and is looking forward to a practice in the United States in which she can serve underserved communities and potentially get involved in policy work to improve access and community support.

She will also continue to perform with her traditional Bengali dance group. Her next gig? Her wedding. She met her fiancé during her first research trip to the Dominican Republic.

Her advice to incoming students: “Ask questions. Really be proactive in finding what you’re looking for. ... And eat at Tu Cachapa. Once I discovered them, my life was changed.”