Bessy Merino, Medical Assistant

I was born in El Salvador and immigrated to the U.S. at age 7. Spanish is my first language and the first couple of months here were difficult since I was afraid to speak English for fear of sounding funny. Once I was able to get over my fear, I preferred English over Spanish. My Mother quickly noticed and banned English at home. I was not allowed to speak or watch English programs. She would often say “Spanish at home and English at school.”  I now thank her for this. Being bilingual has not only opened up opportunities for me but also enables me to help my community.

I began my career with UCSF as a Call Center Agent and later took a position as an Administrative Assistant with Pediatric Specialties at the Parnassus location. I went back to school to obtain my Medical Assistant and Medical Interpreter Certifications. I’ve been with the Madison Clinic since 2013 as a Medical Assistant/Interpreter and with UCSF since 2005. How time flies! I love working with kids and feel fortunate to be part of a team that cares, changes lives, and is dedicated to providing the best care possible.