The Doctor is In

Our Upper Campus Health Science Club was honored to welcome guest speaker Dr. Cristina Gamboa at last week’s Wednesday meeting. Dr. Gamboa is a practicing OB/GYN and Director of Women’s Health at Salud Para La Gente in Watsonville, California. The club was eager to hear from their special guest on all matters surrounding her background, education, and current work as a medical professional.

Addressing a full classroom of high school students interested in the health sciences and paths to a career in the medical field, Dr. Gamboa began by explaining that she might seem a bit tired; she had just come off of a 24-hour on-call shift at the health center in Watsonville. She said this with a bright smile that made one thing clear: she loves what she does. What motivates Dr. Gamboa in her work today is what initially compelled her to pursue a profession in medicine: helping people. When she’s not at work at Salud Para La Gente, a health center in Watsonville serving women and families without financial resources and/or insurance status, Dr. Gamboa enjoys giving her time as a volunteer surgeon in Latin countries and as a volunteer doctor with a local boxing club serving at-risk youth. 

Dr. Gamboa was recently featured in a documentary film titled Giving Birth in America: California, part of a series by CNN and an organization called Every Mother Counts that focuses on issues of maternal health in the United States. Dr. Gamboa encouraged her student audience to look at the issues going on in their world - like the ones presented in this documentary - and to ask: Why are these things happening? Where are they happening? and How can I be part of a solution?

Many Pinewood students are familiar with Dr. Gamboa as she is married to Jared Leake, Visual Arts teacher at our Upper Campus. When Mr. Leake shared with students about his wife’s work earlier this year, Health Science Club leader Alexis Tanase decided to invite the doctor to Pinewood as a guest speaker. “I knew we needed to bring her in,” Tanase said, “She’s amazing.”

Learn more about Every Mother Counts

Watch Giving Birth in America: California

Cristina Gamboa, MD

Cristina Gamboa is an OB/GYN physician and Director of Women’s Health at Salud Para La Gente, a federally qualified health center committed to providing comprehensive quality care regardless of ability to pay or insurance status. She completed her specialized training in OBGYN at the Kaiser Permanente Northern California Residency Program in San Francisco. She earned her medical degree at the University of Illinois in Chicago and her Bachelor of Science in Psychobiology from UCLA. She is a native of Visalia, a largely agricultural city located in the San Joaquin Valley, and comes from two generations of farmworkers. She is interested in assuring the services provided in the Parajo Valley and surrounding area match the needs of the community. Cristina enjoys volunteering abroad to perform surgery in Latin countries and as a volunteer doctor with a boxing club focused on at-risk youth.

from Pajaro Valley Community Health Trust

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