Carmen, Cristian, Adina, Alina, Cătălin, Daniel, Raluca, Sorin, Andrei, and Corina chose to devote their lives learning how to cure others. They are ten of many other Roma youth who study medicine and achieve academic recognition in Roma Health Scholarship Program.

Petruţ Călinescu is the photographer who documented their work in Romania’s hospitals and he gives us an unique perspective on young Roma today.

Roma Health Scholarship Program supports young Roma to build their education in the medical field. More than 600 Roma students received academic scholarships so far (2008-2016). They were assisted by mentors, attended camps advocacy, volunteering activities and medical congresses. The scholars are encouraged to actively assume their Roma identity.

Program developed in Romania by Roma Education Fund, ActiveWatch, The Association of Resident Physicians and Roma Center for Health Policy – Sastipen. “I AM A ROMA DOCTOR” exhibition by Petruț Călinescu was produced by ActiveWatch with the support of Open Society Foundations.


Carmen Andreea Boroghină - fresh graduate of Dental Medicine School, University of Medicine and Pharmacy “Grigore T. Popa” of Iași

“I belive in the idea of evolution through education, I believe that a generation of specialists can destroy prejudices.”


Cristian Irimescu - 4th year Medicine student, University of Medicine and Pharmacy “Carol Davila” of Bucharest

“I come from a family of brick workers and blacksmiths. In high school I got beaten up by my colleagues because I was a Roma, and my Romanian language grades were never bigger than 5. But I didn’t give up: my graduation test average was 9,50, and my medicine admission grade was 9,73.”


Adina Corobuță - respiratory medicine resident, Regional Oncology Institute, Iasi

“When I first publicly assumed my ethnicity it didn’t bring me any trouble, but people often ask me explanations: how did a Roma become a doctor?”


Alina Călin - general surgery resident, “Saint Spiridon” Clinical Emergency County Hospital, Iași

“The scalpel doesn’t care about ethnicity. This encourages me even more to progress as a surgeon, to develop my career.”



Cătălin Duminică - internal medicine resident, Clinical Emergency County Hospital„Sf. Apostol Andrei”, Galați

“A Roma doctor can be mistrusted at first, because of the prejudices of our society, but amongst Roma communities he will always be a role model.”


Daniel Stanciu - paediatric sugery resident, Clinical Emergency Children Hospital “Maria Sklodovska Curie”, Bucharest

“Throughout college I was surprised to find out that I am not the only Roma medicine student. As a resident physician I had the chance to get to know Roma doctors that were very dedicated to their job. This is a proof that you can accomplish anything if you’re determined.”


Andreea Raluca Ștefănescu - 5th year medicine student, “Dunărea de Jos” Unversity, Galați

“In elementary school, the teacher used to make me and the other Roma colleagues to all sit in the back of the classroom. But I never gave up dreaming that I’ll be a pharmacist. I think that we will all succeed if we show dedication and professionalism.”


Sorin Lăcătuș - 6th year medicine student, University of Medicine and Pharmacy “Grigore T. Popa” of Iași

“I was born with a malformation in the neck region. When I was only one and a half years old I was operated by the medic that afterwards became my role model. Today I’m studying medicine in the memory of my savior, Dr. Alexandru Pesamosca.”


Andrei Alberto Bozgan - 6th year medicine student, University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Craiova

"For me, the Faculty of Medicine was the only option. I have not applied anywhere else. I am Roma, but I feel no different from other colleagues."


Corina Stanciu - oncology resident, Oncology Institute„Prof. Dr. Alexandru Trestioreanu", Bucharest

“I do not know how bad it is to be discriminated, but my father does. My skin colour is like my mother’s. When I was a child, my father always let my mother to accompany me at the dorctor’s, in order to be treated better.”

ActiveWatch / CC BY 3.0