Dr. Edna Patricia Gomez is a gynecologist who works for the International Rescue Committee in Cúcuta, Colombia. She left Venezuela in 2018 with her family as the country spiraled into a profound socio-economic crisis. Today, Dr. Edna helps other Venezuelans in Colombia with screening and treatment for the coronavirus, while also providing women's health services. "Medicine is the best," she says of her profession. "It’s hopeful. It’s positive.” 

Learn more about the essential contributions of refugees like Dr. Edna—during COVID-19 and beyond.

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Video Transcript

“Medical work is the best. It’s hopeful, positive. It’s a profession that fills [me] in all aspects of my life.”

Dr. Edna, a refugee from Venezuela, is helping to respond to COVID-19 in Colombia.“Hello.”

“In Venezuela, I was a gynecologist for 25 years. I decided to leave my country for one fundamental reason—the profound social-economic crisis. It was a question of survival.”

“Hello, how are you?”


“Please take a seat.”

“IRC contacted me after they found out about me from other colleagues because I had several job interviews. They hired me and the rest is history. That’s the love story of IRC and Edna.”

“Aside from the pain, what else do you feel?”

“Has your baby moved enough?”

“Yes, he moves a lot.”

Besides her women’s health work, Dr. Edna provides triage to stranded travelers at the Venezuelan border.

“We’re educating. We’re screening for COVID-19. We have a specific unit that treats patients with respiratory issues. It’s fundamental for us to understand that COVID-19 does not discriminate. To understand that we, as human beings, need to unite and complement each other and refugees always have the capacity to contribute more than people admit.

"I am a refugee and I am a doctor.”