South County Newspapers, July 28, 2010
She still has a few years left of medical school and a residency in order to hang her shingle anywhere, but King City High graduate Violetta Barroso, 32, has started down the path to be a primary care physician.
The Stanford biological sciences graduate, who has now completed her first year of medical school, also at Stanford, is part of the California Academy of Family Practice summer preceptor program. That program has brought her right back to her home town for a month to see what being a family practice doctor is all about.
“I decided I really wanted to do something important in my community,” Barroso said. “When I was working at the winery (Monterey Wine Company) in King City, the days I really liked were when there was a lot of interaction with the people there.”
Her job was in the winery lab. She had worked in New York for a couple of years after she graduated from Stanford in 2000, but then came back to the area and secured a position at Monterey Wine Company.
In 2007 she left her job and went to University of California at San Francisco for a year of post baccalaureate studies so she could apply to medical school and when trained work in an area with underserved population, like South Monterey County.
“I was glad to come back here not only because I knew people and family but I wanted to get more experience clinically and wanted to do it somewhere that was important to me.”
Barroso’s Mee Memorial experience is one that nearly a dozen medical students have had. In fact, Dr. Khuong Phui (pronounced Kong Foo-ee) now works at Mee and was in the preceptor program a number of years ago and decided to come back to King City to practice and make his home.
“This program in general is a great program,” said Dr. Bruce Greenberg, who is the coordinator and preceptor for Mee Memorial. “It gives students clinical exposure after just a year of medical school, which is mostly classroom situations. They get to see what many of their classmates don’t get to see until their third year of medical school.”
There are about 50 openings for the program throughout the state each year, of which 35 are in urban areas and 15 in rural areas like Southern Monterey County.
Barroso will be spending a month under Dr. Greenberg’s preceptorship, although she is gaining experience with other doctors at Mee Memorial also. While a budding physician has not come to King City every summer, Greenberg said there has been one most years.
“Violetta is a great person to work with and it’s even more rewarding to have someone back who grew up here, “added Dr. Greenberg. “I think she’s going to be inspirational and a great role model.”
“I’m very grateful to Dr. Greenberg,” said Barroso. “He is very generous with his time showing me how he practices medicine. This has been such a positive experience and I think it’s really good to have some clinical experience early so you can go back to school and it all fits together.”
She is the daughter of Juan and Elia Barroso, one of five children who graduated from KCHS and went on to college. Maria has an engineering degree from UC Davis and works for Calpine in King City. Her brother Jose is also an engineer who graduated from San Jose State and lives in that area. Brother Juan earned a civil engineering degree from UC Berkley and lives and works in the San Jose area where he is the vice president of a commercial construction company. Youngest child Juan Antonio also graduated from UC Berkley and works for an insurance company in San Francisco.
Barroso still has at least three years of medical school and one more if she earns a MBA in conjunction with her medical degree and then must go through a residency program. “It could be the Natividad Hospital program,” she said. “I am interested in that and coming back to this area when I’m through school.”
We’ll be waiting.
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