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'If I don't do it now, I will never do it', Valley mom of three now a first-year medical student

After battling health challenges several years ago, a Valley mom is now on the path to becoming a doctor in hopes of helping others.

PHOENIX — Photos are scattered on Amy Arias’ living room walls with her smiling family members filling the frames.

Arias’ own smile is evidence of how much her husband, Adrian, two sons Adrian and Matthew, and daughter, Jenna, mean to her.

“I’m just lucky,” Amy Arias said.

But even all the luck in the world doesn’t stop the unexpected.

“When you have a medical concern it just turns your whole world upside down,” Arias said.

But it was two medical concerns several years ago, one that impacted her husband’s eyesight, and another that ended with Arias needing surgery.

“Just the not knowing, that part of me – I really wanted answers,” Arias said.

The medical issues they walked through, let Arias asking questions of herself.

“I was just like, ‘Man, I’d be so cool if I could just go back and be a doctor.’ And my son was like, ‘Well why can’t you?” Arias said. “And it sounds really cliché, I know, but for me it was like, ‘I guess, yeah, why – why couldn’t I?”

Over a number of years, Arias worked through classes, studying for the medical school entry exam, which led to interviews at schools in the Valley.

“Our kids you know they think of us as these big heroes and you know I really wanted to lead by example,” Arias said.

The years of work finally led to Arias getting to surprise her family with the news that she got accepted.

Arias is now apart of the class of 2025 at the University of Arizona College of Medicine-Phoenix.

“There’s a lot of naysayers and there’s a lot of people that are discouraging, especially as a mom. ‘Oh what’s gonna happen with your kids?’ Or, ‘What are you gonna do? How are you going to manage it all?’ I think as a mom, you already feel all of that,” Arias said. “I felt that I would constantly feel guilty and they would feel a lack of attention, but instead it kind of helps them to be more independent and more hard-working.”

Arias was granted a spot in UArizona’s Primary Care Physician Scholarship program, hoping to use her medical degree and Spanish-speaking skills she picked up while living abroad in Ecuador, to help patients in Phoenix.

“We have a very large Hispanic population and, definitely, we need primary care,” she said.

Arias said she also hopes to draw on her own experiences dealing with the medical concerns she and her husband endured to be a better physician herself.

“We will not always be able to cure but will always be able to care,” Arias said. “I think that’s really the key, the really big take away I think that I want to bring into the field when I come.”

With the support of her family behind her, Arias said she feels like now is the only time to make her dream a reality. 

“If I don’t do it now, I will never do it,” the mother said.

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