Date of Completion

Spring 5-1-2021

Thesis Advisor(s)

Rosa Helena Chinchilla

Honors Major

Physiology and Neurobiology

Second Honors Major



European Languages and Societies | Spanish and Portuguese Language and Literature


This interview-based Spanish Thesis podcast serves to identify and analyze vulnerable populations in the medical world and compare social determinants of health between the Granada and U.S. healthcare systems. My mission is to identify barriers to healthcare and also the resources to support disadvantaged people in overcoming them. For this qualitative research study, I opted for a unique interview-based style to converse directly with former mentors and colleagues of mine from Spain and open a candid dialogue on health equity and reform. I grew quite fond of Granada during my study abroad last year, which abruptly ended due to the outbreak of COVID-19. During my time there, I took two fascinating courses on Medical Spanish and Spain’s Healthcare System and began to draw comparisons between vulnerable populations in both Spain and the US. This experience prompted me to form my research question: what are the primary barriers to healthcare in Granada and what resources can disadvantaged populations use to overcome them?

My first conversations began with Dr. José Nicolás Navarro Díaz, a practicing physician, who shared common issues faced by women that reduce their access to equitable healthcare. These issues include social responsibilities, poverty, and violence. Dr. Navarro emphasized that healthcare practitioners and workers can become better allies to mitigate microaggressions and gender-based violence in and outside of a clinic. In my second episode, Dr. Navarro described the increased risk of chronic disease for the elderly and the impact of the political climate on sustainable policies. He stressed the importance of advocating for better legislation to improve their metabolic outcomes. In my third episode, Mr. Lorenzo Borchi shared the importance of promoting daily exercise and hygiene as a preventative form of healthcare. Mr. Guillermo Argueta, a migrant social worker in both Spain and El Salvador, joined me for my fourth episode. He discussed his personal journey in healthcare and the specific adversities and mental health issues faced by people who are constantly displaced. In my final interview, Dr. Mariola Fuentes shared her views on gender and racial parity within her profession as an emergency physician.

My conversations with local healthcare workers in Granada helped identify the community’s most vulnerable populations and had a profound impact on my inner sense of care. I have published this podcast on Spotify so it serves as a public resource to raise awareness on these social inequities.