Eddie Menacho, PA-S, will graduate this May from the Primary Care Physician Assistant (PA) Program at the Keck School of Medicine of USC.

“I am most proud of being able to be the first PA student to do my advanced rotation with the Street Medicine Team at USC,” Menacho shared. “We often see successful programs out there, but very few times are you able to see the infrastructure and foundation be implemented from the beginning. There is something special to be said about what the Street Medicine Team is accomplishing here at USC and the impact it will have on the homeless crisis we have going on in Los Angeles.”

Menacho was first exposed to street medicine when he worked with Boston Healthcare for the Homeless in the summer of 2017 as a National Medical Fellowships (NMF) Primary Care Leadership Program Scholar.

“I found how rewarding it was to serve one of the most vulnerable populations and discovered a passion for something I had never experienced before,” Menacho said. “Providing health care alongside some of the godfathers of street medicine was a remarkable and memorable experience.”

In choosing to pursue the physician assistant profession, Menacho knows his impact as a PA will go far in serving vulnerable populations with an emphasis on primary care. Once he learned that the PA Program at the Keck School had a mission focused on providing care to underserved populations — and after meeting the faculty who did just that — he knew USC was his first choice.

After graduation, he hopes to continue to work in street medicine in Los Angeles. He also looks forward to continuing his learning to become a quality medical provider.

“I look forward to finally being able to help patients in the extent I have always dreamed of,” Menacho said. “I was once told by one of my mentors that there are very few professions in the world where you can touch the mind, the body and the spirit. I look forward to having an impact on the patients’ lives in any way I can, medical or not.”

— Claire Norman