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UCSF Medical Student Receives 40 Under 40 Leaders in Minority Health Award

Bernadette Lim

Bernadette Lim

Second year medical student Bernadette Lim recently received the 40 Under 40 Leaders in Minority Health Award from the National Minority Quality Forum in recognition of her social justice health advocacy work. Bernadette is the youngest recipient and only medical student to receive this award.
Currently a medical student in the UC Berkeley-UCSF Joint Medical Program (JMP) and UCSF Program in Medical Education for the Urban Underserved (PRIME-US), Bernadette has a long legacy of social justice advocacy work.

As an undergraduate at Harvard University, Bernadette founded Women SPEAK, an organization that engages young women in campus discussions, service projects, and advocacy work related to gender, identity, and social justice. Since its beginnings, Women SPEAK has impacted 1,000+ young women and held four yearly leadership conferences in Los Angeles and expanded its national chapter network to include over twenty high schools, colleges, and universities. Bernadette also spent year as a Fulbright Scholar in India conducting research on women’s empowerment grassroot groups before matriculating in 2017.

As a UCSF medical student, Bernadette founded the Freedom School for Intersectional Medicine and Health Justice, an interdisciplinary bi-weekly community gathering for students, faculty and community members to discuss how to re-envision medicine and public health to be more inclusive to underserved ethnic and racial minorities and communities. She has created programs in partnership with Asian Health Services Youth Program and Banteay Srei as a Berkeley Human Rights Fellow and Albert F. Schweitzer Fellow to amplify the voices of young women of color in Oakland at risk or engaged in sexual exploitation. She is also the creator and co-host of Woke WOC Docs, a podcast that tells the narratives of women of color in medicine.

While working on her master’s thesis at UC Berkeley, Bernadette partnered with the organization Filipinos Advocates for Justice (FAJ) to develop a youth-lead community art exhibition that amplified community health issues. For this, she received support from the UCSF PROF-PATH program and was honored with the UCSF Dean’s Prize for Outstanding Medical Research in Health and Society.

“Bernadette’s unwavering commitment to elevate the voices of women and youth is exceptional. She has the unique ability to skillfully and effectively build trusting, equitable, and sustainable community partnerships,” said Monica Hahn, MD MPH MS, Assistant Professor of Family Medicine and Director of Inquiry and Evaluation for PRIME-US. “I was delighted to nominate her for this award. She is an up-and-coming transformative leader in health equity with great potential to effect widespread positive change in her community and beyond.”

The National Minority Quality Forum assists health care providers, professionals, administrators, researchers, policymakers, and community and faith-based organizations in delivering appropriate health care to minority communities.  For more information about the National Minority Quality Forum, please visit