FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – More than 1 million immigrants arrive in the U.S. every year with the hope of making a better life for themselves and their families.
That dream became a reality for Anna Jacques when she and her mother emigrated from Poland in 2000 and she had a singular focus on her future.
“My mom says since I was very young, as soon as I could talk, I used to play doctor,” Jacques told Local 10 News.
That, combined with her passion for athletic training, created the foundation for her journey to become an orthopedic specialist.
“I think the ah-ha moment was my freshman year in college when I was an engineering major but had this love for medicine,” she said.
Jacques is now part of the residency program at Broward Health.
“We are always looking for residents that come from all over and have different stories to tell. As a healthcare system, we take care of our community and people from all over the world so we want our healthcare workforce to represent our community,” said Dr. Patricia Rowe-King with Broward Health.
For Jacques, it was no easy feat. Less than 15 percent of students aspiring to become doctors actually succeed and the process can take 11 years or longer, depending on the area of practice.
“I would have to give the credit to my mom for giving me the opportunity to be here and the government for letting me become a United States citizen,” Jacques said. “As corny as it sounds, I want people to know America is the land of opportunity and you are the only person who stands between yourself and your dream.”