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Joint Medical Program student named 2021 Pisacano Scholar

Emiliano Lemus Hufstedler, a fourth year medical student in the UC Berkeley-UCSF Joint Medical Program (JMP) is one of nine scholars selected as a 2021 Pisacano Scholar.

The JMP is a five-year graduate/medical degree program. Students spend two and a half years at Berkeley Public Health, engaging in a problem-based learning medical curriculum and earning a master’s degree (MS) in health and medical sciences. Students then move across the bay to UCSF to finish their medical education and receive their medical doctorate (MD).

Hufstedler is a health disparities researcher and trainer on transgender-affirming healthcare. After completing a bachelor’s degree in biochemical studies at Harvard, they worked for a decade as a community organizer, serving as founding director of Erósfera, Center for Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights in Puebla, Mexico, and co-director of Bluestockings Activist Center in New York City. They received their MS through the JMP in 2019.

The Pisacano scholarship, valued at up to $28,000, is a prestigious award given to students attending US medical schools who demonstrate a strong commitment to family medicine. The award recognizes leadership and academic excellence. Approximately 3,000 applicants representing more than 140 medical schools competed for these scholarships.

“I am excited to be welcomed into a community of family medicine activists and leaders, as well as to be trained in leadership and advocacy by the organization,” said Hufstedler. “But truthfully, the biggest impact this award has on me is the vote of confidence they have placed in me. I am a trans, queer, Indigenous, Chicano practitioner of traditional herbalism, as well as a medical student who is invested in trans health, integrative health, and health equity for BIPOC and immigrant communities. In receiving this award, I understand that my particular strengths and identities are being honored by a respected medical foundation—and that recognition means so much for me, my family, and my communities.”

Hufstedler credits the JMP for their ability to thrive during the toughest challenges of medical school. “The JMP has been an incredibly supportive program, very important in my development as a future physician. It is a program that has long had a focus on producing changemakers for social justice and health equity—and it is also a program that is known for its strong support of students who have too often been marginalized in medicine—including BIPOC, queer and trans, and nontraditional students,” they said. “I can’t imagine having been trained in any other program, and I really credit the JMP for my emerging from medical school with my spirit intact.”

The Pisacano Leadership Foundation, Inc., was created in 1990 by the American Board of Family Medicine in tribute to the founder and first Executive Director of the ABFM, Nicholas J. Pisacano, M.D. (1924-1990).

See the list of current Pisacano scholars at the Pisacano Leadership Foundation website.