Student Spotlight: Jose Fabrizzio Cevallos C’22

Jose Fabrizzio Cevallos C’22

What attracted you to Drew?

I was attracted to the forest environment because I grew up in a similar environment in Peru.

Did you know what you wanted to major in when you started at Drew?

I am a transfer student and have an Associates in Engineering Science.  I knew I wanted to major in biology in the pre-med track because I plan to pursue a career as a doctor.

Why are you drawn to the field of medicine?

I’ve been interested in medicine since I was 5 years old.  I lived with my mother and my indigenous grandparents in Peru and I was very close to my mother. She was allergic to anesthesia but the doctors did not know it when they administered it and she fell into a coma for a year. This had a major impact on my life.  I am writing a book now and several of my essays are related to that period of time because it really made me think about how medicine affects the lives of others. I remember the emergency doctors who treated my mother were not friendly and did not seem interested in helping my mother. This was a strong contributing factor to my interest in pursuing a career as a doctor. Peru does not have a good health system and the elderly population are not usually accepted into the hospital because children take first priority.  Peru is a poor country without enough beds in their hospitals.  My mom was in her mid-40’s so the doctors did not accept her.  It is clear that poverty affects the healthcare industry.

My interest and mission in medicine is to serve the elderly, the undocumented, and all those who do not have access to adequate healthcare. I want to understand how poverty and medicine interact with each other. During summers and winters I do research in Peru under the supervision of doctors, based on how doctors approach medicine given the high rate of poverty in South America. I am very interested in learning how doctors in places like Peru help indigenous people and the methods and medicine they use in these situations.

The field of medicine I want to pursue is emergency medicine because in places like South America and Third World countries, a majority of doctors do not care about the elderly and this results in a high rate of death for this population.  I feel emergency doctors have the power to save their lives.

Have you done any internships or worked on campus?

I had a job in my freshman year at the Borough of Manhattan Community College working for the National Society of Leadership and Success which is an organization that promotes leadership in students. As part of the Executive Board my main job was to provide workshops on my experiences.  I discussed different leadership positions and how to create and persist in goals. My job was to give workshops on the mission of the honor society and how it helps students persist in their education.

Most of the jobs I had in community college involved peer mentoring with the mission of helping students stay in college.  This is part of the book I am a writing.  It’s based on my experiences as a migrant to this country and how I was awarded a chance to study for free. When I got out of high school I received several scholarships that helped me get started in Community College and recently when I transferred to Drew I received a national scholarship that will pay for the next two years and medical school.

Tell me about the book you are writing.

The book is titled, A Leap of Emergency.  I started writing it when the quarantine started because I was ready to transfer to Drew and thinking about my next two years.  I thought there may be other students like me, who were struggling to pay for college. When you are in high school and you come from another country, you feel you cannot afford college. I thought I’d write the book to help students learn about the many opportunities that are available to them.  The rest of the book is based on my indigenous life in Peru and how it influenced my decision to pursue a medical career, including my mother’s inadequate treatment.  I also discuss my culture and ethics.  It’s like a memoir with research information. My brother has published some books in philosophy and he is helping me get a publisher.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

I hope to be a medical student in my junior or senior year.  I see myself continuing my research on how society affects the healthcare/medical industry.  I am also interested in brain related illnesses such as Alzheimer’s and I plan to do research with professors at Drew. By studying the brain, I feel I can also understand our society more.  Everything correlates with my desire to pursue ethical medicine.

Fun fact you would like to share?

I’m really interested in sports and I also run 3 miles every day. Running is where I get most of my ideas, including ideas for my book.

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