Degree: Doctor of Medicine
College/School: Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine
Lina Loza looks at life as a series of challenges to overcome. At the age of 12 she came to the United States with her mom from Colombia, learned the new language and customs, and thrived in her new home.
Then at 17, her best friend and younger stepsister died in a car crash. The tragedy was emotionally devastating, but it inspired Lina to do something with her life that would make a difference. She decided to become a doctor. However, family problems forced Lina to move out on her own and to support herself she had to work full time during the day, while going to college at night.
In 2015, Lina received a bachelor’s in biology from FIU, and graduated in the top 10% of the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps. She attended medical school on a military scholarship. Lina, now a second lieutenant in the Air Force, will be promoted to captain after graduation.
At FIU, Lina has served as a student ambassador, peer mentor, and interviewer for medical school applicants. With her husband and family’s support, she also managed to balance the challenging school responsibilities of a medical student with motherhood— her son Daniel is almost 3 years old.
Lina will be doing her residency in obstetrics and gynecology at the San Antonio Uniformed Services Health Education Consortium. She says serving in the military is her way of giving back to this country which has done so much for her.
By Ileana Varela,
Associate Director of Marketing and PR, Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine