Spotlight: Dr. Rose Molina Owns Her Story

May 19, 2022

Dr. Rose Molina

Dr. Rose Molina's grandmother is one of the greatest inspirations for her career in medicine.

"She lived one block away and helped raise me and my brothers because our parents worked full-time," she says. "My grandmother emigrated from China with three children and was the bridge for many of her extended family to come the United States as well. She inspired me with her grit, kindness, and pursuit of excellence in all things."

Today, Rose Molina, MD, MPH is an obstetrician-gynecologist, scholar, and activist advancing health equity in pregnancy care. She serves as the Director of the OBGYN Diversity, Inclusion, and Advocacy Committee at BIDMC.

Dr. Molina is proud of the roles that she maintains, and loves that they allow her to live her values and find meaning in her work. Much like her grandmother, she is dedicated to being a bridge to resources that others need to thrive. She has a passion for enhancing healthcare quality and equity for immigrants and those with limited English proficiency. "Much of this is inspired by my upbringing in an inter-racial, immigrant family in California," she says.

One of the more challenging aspects of her career has been dealing with other people's assumptions and biases about who she is.

"I often sense that people underestimate me, my accomplishments, and my potential because of my appearance," she says. "As a result, I continually reflect on my own perceptions of others and try to disrupt any similar thoughts that may interfere with my ability to connect with and see others as who they really are."

Beth Israel Lahey Health's theme for Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage month is "Uniting as one to advance the future of healthcare." In Dr. Molina's view, this idea of unity is especially important for Asian American and Pacific Islander communities.

"We should remain sensitive to the rich diversity within our communities yet steadfast in working together toward a common goal," she says. "There is so much more that unites us than divides us, and we need to remember that, especially when our world is so divided."

If Dr. Molina could offer one piece of advice to the next generation of AAPI people in medicine, it would be to "know yourself."

"Know your story, and do not be ashamed of it," she says. "You may be the light someone needs to find their way."