Medical student at St. Luke’s Jerome focusing on mental health in the Latino community

Published: Sep. 12, 2023 at 3:40 PM MDT
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JEROME, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) — September 10 through the 16 is National Suicide Prevention week. KMVT introduces us to a 3rd year medical student at the University of Washington who is in Jerome completing part of his rotations and making a real difference for those struggling with their mental health.

Adolfo Carmona can be seen walking through the halls of St. Luke’s Jerome almost every day.

“Right now, I’m doing my rotations here for family medicine, pediatrics, obgyn, psych, so I will be here for 6 months,” said Adolfo Carmona, a medical student.

It’s all a part of the TRUST track at the University of Washington WWAMI Medical Education Program. TRUST stands for Targeted Rural Underserved Track.

“The point of the program is actually to have the students spend more time in rural communities and have them be exposed to some of the things they would see if they decide to go into rural medicine,” said Carmona.

Carmona felt particularly drawn to the TRUST program because of his background growing up in the agriculture community in Carey.

This is his 4th time being back at St. Luke’s Jerome during his time in medical school, he is now a 3rd year medical student.

During his time at St. Luke’s Jerome, he has discovered a passion for increasing mental health awareness, particularly in the Latino community.

“Initially we just wanted to increase the knowledge that people have about mental health and talk a little bit about the negative stigma that surrounds mental health within the Latino community, we created a flyer that talks about the negative stigma, some of the signs they can look for, about mental health if they are going through depression or anxiety, and we had a list of the different counselors that speak Spanish in the area,” said Carmona.

He wanted to take it one step further however, and hosted a podcast episode about this on his show called ‘El Show De Fin Y Sal’, and would love to continue expanding awareness about mental health.

“The goal is to actually have different counselors, the same counselors that we included in that flyer, come to the podcast, talk about a different topic and at the same time the listeners can get used to the counselors, get to know them a little bit better,” said Carmona.

Why is this so important to Adolfo? The answer is quite simple.

“Mental health is a huge problem within the Latino community and yet we don’t really talk much about it, I never really heard much about mental health growing up, I know that a lot of my classmates coming from the same background didn’t hear about it growing up,” said Carmona.

He says he loves the Jerome community and would be honored to return to Jerome after he finishes medical school as a family medicine doctor.

“I love the community, I love the patients that we have, the culture and I am from this area, I would love to come back as a physician hopefully in a few years, and help the community as a provider at that time. There is only so much I can do as a medical student right now, but you know the potential is there” said Carmona.