Degree: B.S. Biological Sciences / B.A. Natural and Applied Sciences
College: School of Environment, Arts and Society at the College of Arts, Sciences & Education
Growing up in the remote town of San Luis, Cuba, Alvaro Abreu saw first-hand how people struggled to get adequate medical care in a town with no specialists - and where his own mother was one of the few primary care physicians available.
Inspired by his mother’s work in underserved communities, Alvaro began his higher education journey at Miami Dade College and transferred to FIU after researching other universities. Alvaro, an FIU Honors College student, was impressed by an institution where growth, innovation and a dynamic atmosphere could be felt as soon as he set foot on campus. Alvaro also accepted a position in the admissions department of Westchester General Hospital’s emergency room that led to further opportunities in the healthcare industry.
When the COVID-19 pandemic struck, Alvaro helped admit patients and ensured those who needed vaccines got them. He also participated in a hospital-led study that lessened the inflammatory damage the coronavirus causes to a person’s lungs. A subsequent research opportunity also allowed him to assist in an effort to train a hand-held scanner that could one day detect and diagnose skin cancer quickly.
After commencement, Alvaro will apply to medical schools, including FIU’s Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine. He will also return to Westchester General Hospital, after accepting a position with the clinical informatics team. There, he will handle quality control issues and ensure hospital staff follow procedures and adhere to patient privacy laws.
As a doctor, Alvaro plans to help address issues with healthcare access that affect so many around the world.
By Chrystian Tejedor
College of Arts, Sciences & Education