John Toms

As someone who strives to become a physician in the future, one of my aspirations is to be able to effective engage and advocate for patients who come from medically-underserved backgrounds.

Hometown: Atlanta, GA
 
Educational background: B.S. in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Virginia and M.S. in Medical Sciences from Boston University.
 
Host Site: Gateway Community Services, Inc.
 
What is your title and role at your host site?
I will be serving as a Patient Navigator. My role within this position is to overall assist individuals who are undergoing Detox and Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) with their recovery from substance addiction and other co-occurring disorders. I will be conducting medical needs assessments of patients,providing resources and referrals to community care providers and outside agencies such as social services, and assisting patients with filling out any necessary medical paperwork. Beyond these tasks, I additionally will be developing and conducting health education classes about a variety of topics ranging from medications utilized in detox to nutrition to management of chronic illnesses.

Why did you join the National Health Corps Florida AmeriCorps program?
As someone who strives to become a physician in the future, one of my aspirations is to be able to effective engage and advocate for patients who come from medically-underserved backgrounds. In order to effectively to do this, I believe I need to gain the first-hand experience that will allow me to both gain a better understanding of the limitations these patients face and to develop the skillsets necessary to overcome these limitations. Given the hands-on experience and the continuous opportunities for personal development it provides, National Health Corps Florida AmeriCorps program was the unique opportunity I was looking for to provide me with a public health foundation that I could build upon as a clinician to better serve medically-underserved individuals in the future.
 
What are you hoping to gain from your year of service?
From my time in service, I hope to gain and grow a variety of different skills. Primarily I hope to gain first-hand public health experience that will allow me to develop a stronger understanding of the health disparities that exist within the communities I serve so that I can effectively advocate for these populations in the future as a clinician. Beyond this, I also hope to learn strategies that I can employ in order to better provide a sense of relief and comfort for the communities struggling with these disparities. Lastly, I hope to further improve my project coordination, health communication, and group facilitation skills so that I possess the appropriate skillsets to better initiate and coordinate healthcare change in the future.
 
What are your plans after AmeriCorps service?
I am hoping to matriculate into medical school in Fall 2020.
 
Where do you envision yourself in 5 years?
While I am unsure of the specialty at this point, I hope to be entering a medical residency where I can utilize all the lessons and skills that I will learn and develop during my time with the National Health Corps.
Home Town:
Atlanta, GA
Host Site: