Growing up in northeast San Fernando Valley, Andrea Bañuelos Mota wanted to be a doctor, but she didn’t know how. No one in her community had gone to medical school. When her brother passed away, a devastating loss for her family, she resolved to chart her own course.

“My brother’s passing showed me how social determinants of health can lead to difficult outcomes,” said Bañuelos Mota, who graduated this month with dual degrees, a doctor of medicine and a master’s of public health. “I had to take a step back and think about what it would mean to become a physician in this healthcare system, and I knew I needed to be a part of it.”

Bañuelos Mota is among a growing number of students pursuing a dual MD-MPH degree, a study from USC researchers shows.

To continue reading this story, click here.