Welcome Kensie La-Anyane, URiM Participant!

The School of Medicine and Public Health and Department of Surgery is committed to being a diverse, equitable, inclusive, and anti-racist learning environment and workplace. The Underrepresented in Medicine (URiM) Visiting Student Scholarship Program, sponsored by the Department of Surgery, supports qualified 4th year medical students from underrepresented backgrounds in medicine in developing their clinical skills, abilities, and potential through a visiting rotation, mentorship, and networking opportunities.

As a medical student at the Frank H Netter School of Medicine – Quinnipiac University, Kensie La-Anyane has enjoyed the opportunity to affect patients around the world. Her first clinical research project, which was conducted during the COVID-19 pandemic, was an international survey study about wound healing in patients who use skin bleaching products. Despite the pandemic-related barriers to global research, she was determined to collaborate with faculty and partnering hospitals in Ghana.

“The experience taught me that even as a medical student, I have the ability to bridge gaps in the research that can potentially impact patients globally,” La-Anyane said.

La-Anyane first learned about the URiM program through current residents, Dr. Jasmine Peters and Dr. Kristine Carbullido. With interests in global surgical education and gender affirming surgery, this program aligned with her career aspirations.

“I’ve also seen a broad variety of traumas during my rotation that have required very creative reconstructive approaches,” La-Anyane said.

La-Anyane was drawn to plastic and reconstructive surgery when she realized the importance of engineering concepts in this specialty. She previously worked in a role where she taught engineering fundamentals to children through the use of LEGOS. This is where her interest in mechanics and constructing intricate structures out of basic parts began.

“At its core, plastic surgery struck me as a sort of puzzle in which you use limited resources to create something else, which lends itself to a career full of challenges and innovation, all while helping patients improve their function, self-image, and quality of life,” La-Anyane said.

La-Anyane’s interests lie in addressing health disparities in plastic surgery and being at the forefront of research in gender affirming surgery. “I also aim to continue working in global plastic surgery, with goals to provide sustainable access to plastic surgery in under-resourced countries,” she concluded.