Bryan S. Torres, M.S.
I am a proud first-generation Mexican-Colombian American dedicated to addressing health, social, and educational inequities that afflict us. Coming from a community where more liquor stores and loan businesses were present than schools, I grew up devoid of positive role models and a sense of community. My lack of interactions with doctors who came from my social and racial background made me question if I was equipped for certain societal roles. Thus, growing up in a poverty-stricken environment, I feared that I would become a statistic—incarcerated, lost in drugs, or worse. But, the culmination of my upbringing and the significance of my identity in places meant to keep us out led me on a life-long pursuit to fill the void in gaps that our people desperately need.
Without the white coat, I am the leader and mentor I wish I had. I am a first-generation American, high school, college, and master’s graduate. As a result, over the past 11 years, I have provided grassroots mentorship to youth from similar upbringings to aid in breaking barriers and change our bleak reality. What began as mentoring and empowering students from high school who sit where I once sat has transformed and extended to both locally and nationally underrepresented, first-generation, and disadvantaged students. As I join this profession, I plan to evolve these efforts into ongoing pipeline mentor-mentee relationships to increase awareness, attainment, and equity of healthcare professions to disadvantaged students in often forgotten peripheral communities like my own. I want to show future generations that it is possible to be a minority in a white coat.
”#withoutthewhitecoat I am a son, brother, friend, engineer, researcher, mentor, mentee, advocate, servant to the community, and soon, first in my family to pursue medicine. I am the culmination of the community that forged who I am today and the physician I aspire to be, the numbers that try but do not define us, and the fire inside me that burns brighter than the fire around me.