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Out of the Fields: My Journey from Farmworker Boy to Pediatrician

Length: 449 pages7 hours


Growing up as a farmworker in a family of fifteen, Ramon never
imagined he could become a doctor. Abandoned by his single mother,
who had five kids before the age of twenty, he grew up in an environment
of severe poverty, neglect, and a total disregard for education. At
the age of three, he was picking cotton in the fields of Central California.
It was his elementary-school teachers who opened his eyes to the
idea of education and awakened in him the dream of going to college
and becoming a doctor.
It wasn’t easy. He had to overcome low self-esteem, a speech impediment,
recurring depression, prejudice, discouragement from school
counselors, and even opposition from his grandparents, who wanted
him to get a factory job and pay them back for having taken him in
when no one else wanted him.
But Ramon persisted and eventually fulfilled his dream. For the
past twenty years, he’s been in private practice in the same central California
region where he grew up. “I see myself in many of my young
patients who come from farmworker families as I did,” he says, “and
my mission is to be a role model who cares for their spirits as well as
their bodies.”

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