Mikiko is a medical student at Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science and the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. As a queer and cisgender Black woman from Atlanta, and as a first-generation Jamaican-American, Mikiko’s intersectionality has ultimately broadened her understanding of health, community, and  justice. She became interested in mental health while attending Barnard college and wrote her senior thesis comparing the over-diagnosis of schizophrenia in black men during the civil rights era with diagnoses faced many by queer youth of color today. In medical school, Mikiko has remained ardent in her goal of empowering humans and their communities by serving as an inaugural equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) representative since 2017, and the faculty executive EDI committee since 2019. She also serves as an inaugural Health Equity tutor, working with faculty to ensure our curriculum and clerkships include caring for marginalized, intersectional, and LGBTQIA+ patients. Since 2018, Mikiko has worked on a research team with her mentor, Psychiatrist Dr. Eraka Bath, piloting a sexual and reproductive health program for youth with experiences of CSE.* As co-program manager, Mikiko was responsible for all curricular adaptations, and after hearing from youth in the pilot who share an LGBTQ+ identity, she worked to include affirming content that was gender-and-orientation diverse as well. During 2022, she is completing the first specialized 4th year elective with Dr. Natalia Ramos in UCLA’s EMPWR Clinic, and is grateful to continue supporting individual and group therapy for LGBTQIA+ youth navigating traumatic experiences. From here, Mikiko hopes to find a career that combines medicine with critical praxes for healing within queer and trans communities of color.

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