Monique Chambers is dedicated to improving health care in minority communities.
For UC Davis School of Medicine student Monique Chambers, achievement lies within the reach of those who reach beyond themselves.
It is a philosophy that has guided and motivated Chambers as she pursues a career as an orthopedic surgeon. It is also one of the reasons why she chose to attend medical school at UC Davis.
“I knew wherever I went to medical school it was important that I was encouraged in accomplishing goals outside of the classroom,” said Chambers, who served as a co-director at the Imani Clinic, a free student-run clinic which has a mission to provide quality health care to underserved populations of Sacramento. “Everything I’ve wanted to do, I’ve received a ton of the support from the administration and that has allowed me to truly make a difference.”
During her first year as a medical student, Chambers created an 11-part lecture series as during Black History Month in which the guest speakers — including surgeons, spiritual leaders, nurses and patients — discussed how life experiences impact the way African-Americans perceived the health care system.
In 2011 Chambers created and lead a three-day national conference that discussed the importance of life experiences in medical education and health care. About 200 pre-med and medical students and practicing physicians from all over the U.S. attended.
“Engaging in clinics and conferences — those are the things that remind me of my purpose and help propel me while studying medicine,” Chambers said. “They remind me of why I’m here. They make the hard work, exhaustion and long hours worthwhile.”
Another source of Chambers’ inspiration comes from the several scholarships she’s received, including the UC Davis Chancellor’s Scholarship and the Herbert W. Nickens Medical Student Scholarship.
“The scholarships create an atmosphere that allows me to focus on what I came here to do,” said Chambers, whose goal is to open an orthopedic clinic and rehab center for the underserved. “On the hard days, they motivate me to keep going because I’m getting an education because of someone else’s generosity. There are not words to truly express the gratitude I feel to those donors, so I would simply have to say thank you.”