Meet Your Provider: Marcella Perez, M.D.
Zufall Health Family Medicine Physician Marcella Perez, M.D., is a first-generation Colombian American. She says that the similarities between Zufall’s patients and her own family members inspired her to join – and stay with – our health center.
Perez has been providing care to children and adults at Zufall’s Morristown and West Orange sites for four years. She takes pride in being able to connect with her patients in their native language to help them feel more comfortable making decisions about their health.
“I think of my mom,” Perez says, “who doesn’t speak fluent English even though she’s been in the U.S. for almost 40 years.”
And by eliminating the need for a translator, Perez makes sure critical details in patient conversations don’t get missed. “I know from my other family members, who once relied on interpreters, that so much information can get lost in translation,” she adds.
Perez also appreciates that Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) like Zufall fill a huge gap for people who do not have health insurance and are new to this country – much like her parents and grandparents many years ago. FQHCs are responsible for providing comprehensive care to anyone who wishes to be a patient, regardless of language, health insurance, immigration status, or ability to pay.
Well before completing her doctor of medicine at Ross University School of Medicine, Perez knew she wanted to be a physician because she is so passionate about helping others.
And today, her work goes beyond helping people attain good health. It’s also about helping people – specifically Latina women – understand what they can achieve professionally. According to UCLA Health, only 2.4% percent of physicians in the U.S. identify as Latina women.
“My work at Zufall is about being an inspiration to people who look like me. It is about representation and being a role model. I am able to see myself and my family when I look at my patients, so I want my patients to see themselves and feel inspired when they look at me.”