Magazine of the Tufts University Medical and Sackler Alumni Associations



Why I Give
Ana Lopes Johnson, M01

By Helene Ragovin

FAMILY DOCTOR Lopes Johnson grew up in Rhode Island, the child of Cape Verdean immigrants. Her father developed Parkinson’s disease and died from complications when she was sixteen—the experience of watching her parents navigate the world of doctors and hospitals set the course for her career. “There were not many physicians who looked like us,” Lopes Johnson said. “There was always a language barrier. I wanted to rewrite the script.” She chose primary care: “I had that vision of being that doctor who did everything.” She practices family medicine with Facey Medical Group in Mission Hills, California, and is president of the Association of Black Women Physicians.

SUPPORT SYSTEM From the open-door policy at the office of student affairs, to the advice from deans during rotations and residency decisions, the School of Medicine buoyed Lopes Johnson and helped her succeed. In appreciation, she has been a loyal backer of the Annual Fund. “The challenges I had are similar to the ones students are facing now: the cost of attendance, the fears of the unknown,” she said.

FULL CIRCLE Lopes Johnson and her family sponsored a dissection table in the new Michael Jaharis Jr. M87P, H15 Anatomy Lab. “I remember going to the anatomy lab the first day, and I couldn’t cut the cadaver because I did not have closure on my father’s death,” recalled Lopes Johnson. So the School of Medicine connected her with a counselor. “It was transformational,” she said. And so many years later, “when the opportunity to donate a table presented itself, it was an opportunity for me to build a legacy; to say thank you to the administrators who were kind and helped me find my way; and to change the future for another medical student who will write a new page in Tufts’ history,” she said. “It has given me a chance to go full circle.”

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