Amanda Martinez

Finding my home away from home within Ohio State’s medical community.


Medical student Amanda MartinezAt a very young age I chose to pursue medicine. I grew up in a family of immigrants in south Florida. My sister was diagnosed with amblyopia, or lazy eye. Our after-school activities involved going to her doctors’ visits and treatments at the pediatric ophthalmology clinic, where they used all of these high-tech tools and equipment. I was so intrigued. Then in high school and college, I participated in eye dissections and cataract surgery.

The Ohio State Buckeyes winning the 2014 national championship football game put Ohio on the map for me. I wanted the big-school, collegiate experience. I applied and was accepted, but ultimately decided to stay in Florida for undergrad while pursuing my degree and research in genetics at the University of Florida. When I started looking at medical schools, I knew that because of its size and having seven health science colleges on one campus, Ohio State would give me the best and most comprehensive training available. I knew I would receive the best training here, getting to experience the treatment of common diseases and see patients with rare diseases not normally seen elsewhere.

I moved to Columbus in July of 2020 at the peak of the pandemic. Meeting my classmates, many of whom also came from out of state, helped me adjust. I’ve been able to find my fellow Latinas and get to know so many others from diverse backgrounds.

I also got involved with La Clinica Latina, a local Spanish free medical clinic. I was chosen to serve as scheduling director and as a patient-facing volunteer. The clinic provides medical care to the Hispanic population of all different backgrounds, and my interactions at the clinic help me stay grounded to my community while serving patients who come from similar backgrounds as I.

Another factor that helped me decide to come to Ohio State is that after your first year of education, you can apply to gain in-state residency for tuition, which is a huge financial benefit for medical students.

Another factor that sets the college apart is that faculty, staff and leadership truly care about students here. They have an open-door policy so if I need to talk to someone, I can stop in to say hello or to pose more serious academic and personal questions. They want students to succeed, but also to feel cared for and have the support and access to the research and resources we need to get through medical school.

I know I made the right decision to come to Ohio State. When I moved from Florida, I found this wonderful community – a community that supports and encourages me to challenge myself and go after my dream to help patients with eye disease retain their vision.

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