Robert Olmeda-Barrientos is a third-year medical student at the University of California, Riverside, School of Medicine who is driven by opportunities to collaborate with his colleagues and contribute to his community.
He is a first-generation Mexican-American and the first in his family to go to college. He always knew he wanted to go into the health field, previously aspiring to be an orthodontist, Robert quickly realized becoming a physician would be his calling. He began volunteering at Riverside Community Hospital for the next three years immediately after graduating high school, having rotated through the operating room, pediatric, radiology, and ICU floors. He would then become the department coordinator for the gastroenterology department, where he would work alongside hospital staff to train new volunteers and oversee their scheduling. In addition, he was involved in the Flying Samaritans organization where he was the public health officer at a student run free clinic in a small pueblo in Tecate, Mexico. He would give presentations in Spanish on different chronic health diseases and diets.
Robert believes in providing accessible resources to underserved students. He became the Vice President of the Latino Medical Student Association at his alma mater California State University, Fullerton, where he and the rest of the board members tripled new membership in the same semester he took the position. He coordinated free admission and a guided tour by research doctors from Stanford and UPenn at the American Heart Association Research Conference providing a group of 20 undergraduate pre-meds an inside look into academic research. He would go on to continue his work with undergraduate students by inviting his colleagues to hold Q&A panels at local community colleges and universities.
Robert is a certified EMT. He has experience as a scribe during his time at Riverside University Health Systems, a trauma center. His interests in emergency medicine has led him to join the Emergency Medicine Interest Group at UCR, however he also has interests in surgery joining the Surgery Interest Group. Regardless of specialty, Robert realized how important it is to be an effective leader and has taken steps towards achieving a strong skill set such as joining the 4-year track in Healthcare Leadership at UCR and is currently the Chief Financial Officer for the LMSA West Executive Board, holding previous positions as the Vice President of Community Affairs (LMSA West), Medical Student Representative (LMSA UC Riverside Chapter), and Vice Co-Chair (LMSA Cal State Fullerton Chapter).
Robert was awarded the Dean’s Mission Scholarship for excellence in academics and extracurricular activities. He holds a BA in Psychology from the California State University, Fullerton. He enjoys spending time with his family and friends, catching up on superhero movies, and backpacking at National Parks. His goal is to be a leader for his community, both locally and statewide.