Zakiyyah smiles for the camera

Where They’re Headed: Zakiyyah Winston ‘22

The biology major and health studies minor is starting medical school at the University of California, San Francisco.

Since the age of 12, Zakiyyah Winston has been determined to become a physician. A biology major and health studies minor from Lee’s Summit, MO, Winston is now off to fulfill her dream at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) this fall. Following medical school, Winston intends to go into primary care to practice as either a family physician or pediatrician.

Winston credits the Bi-Co Health Studies program, her classmates in the program, and its director, Assistant Professor Anna West, with helping her develop her interest in medicine into a clear career path. The works of sociologist, law professor, critical race theory scholar, and social justice advocate Dorothy Roberts offered Winston a framework to contextualize race and racism within healthcare landscapes.

“Specifically, her books Fatal Invention: How Science, Politics, and Big Business Re-create Race in the Twenty-first Century and Killing the Black Body: Race, Reproduction, and the Meaning of Liberty sparked my intellectual endeavor to continue to learn about, challenge, and upset the co-production of race and racialized medical conditions,” she said.

There were many things that made the School of Medicine at UCSF a good fit for Winston, including a 2020 policy brief written by students there. “Their call to action highlighted the community of learners and activists at UCSF—a community I would like to join,” said Winston. “Although the UCSF SOM is still dealing with its own reckoning of its contributions, as a medical institution, to the legacies of harm committed against historically marginalized peoples, many of the professors and students at the UCSF School of Medicine are committed to creating a healthcare landscape that is rooted in health justice.”

“Where They’re Headed” is a blog series chronicling the post-collegiate plans of recent Haverford graduates.