EDINBURG, Texas (Valleycentral) – A total of 51 graduates at UTRGV’s school of medicine, gathered with family and friends to celebrate the class of 2022.

Khai Haj-Yahya who is one of the 51 graduates said graduating from medical school is a dream come true.  

“I had a pretty clear idea of what I wanted to do, I wanted to pursue medicine and become a physician,” she said. 

Haj-Yahya said after graduation, she will be joining the DHR to help serve the valley community.

“I’ve really grown to love the valley and the community here and I think I have a strong connection to the population, I know what kind of illnesses are here, how culture plays a role,” she said.

Lord Mvoula is another proud graduate who is excited to move on to the next chapter in life and spread awareness for patient advocacy. 

“I always think of patient advocacy because I feel like us physicians have a usual on how we treat our patient,” he said. 

Mvoula said he is ready to help underserved communities.

“Go somewhere where I feel like my help is going to be needed, that’s very important to me,” he said. 

Graduate Vanessa Sanchez said she will be working on a family medicine residency in San Antonio’s UT Health Science Center and said

Her diploma is a special gift for her mom. 

“Ironically I was born on Mother’s Day and so this is another gift to her, you know, congratulations mom your daughter’s a doctor,” she said. 

Sanchez said both of her parents inspired her to become a doctor as they both work in healthcare. Now she hopes to inspire young women to pursue a degree in the medical field. 

“I hope to inspire young girls everywhere, especially being a Latina, women in medicine, there’s so few of us that I think the representation really matters,” she said.  

Sanchez, Mvoula, and Haj-Yahya credit their family, friends, and educators for helping them get this far.