The Plateau Post

North Country HealthCare Interpreter Returns as Med Student

Many of us know Octavio Olivas, or “Tavo,” from his time as a medical interpreter at North Country HealthCare. Tavo is currently training to become a doctor and is in his third year as a medical student at A.T. Still University School of Osteopathic Medicine in Arizona (ATSU-SOMA).

Originally from Nogales, Mexico, Tavo had the idea to become a doctor when he was 16. At the time this felt like an impossibility for Tavo, as no one in his family had ever graduated from college. But Tavo held onto that dream. He graduated from NAU with a degree in biology and then began serving patients as an interpreter at North Country. It was then that Tavo’s passion for medicine was secured – he saw the need to increase accessibility for families to receive healthcare in their primary language. 

“As an interpreter I was able to help others have a deeper understanding of their personal health in their own language, and that’s something I want to carry into the future as a doctor. I want to help remove any barriers that keep our patients from communicating and working with a healthcare team. At the end of the day, the most important thing is our patients and keeping them healthy!”

We’ll be sharing profiles as part of a series, Supporting Every Step of the Health Career Journey, in honor of National Health Center Week. Learn more about how education moves the mission at Colorado Plateau Center for Health Professions.

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