Irene Aguilar

Irene Aguilar

Licensed M.D. / State Senator


State of Colorado

Denver, CO USA


You don’t come out of school and become what you are going to be...you start your journey. Each step along, whether you think it’s successful or not, informs the next step you take.

Videos

Videos

By Roadtrip Nation

Irene Aguilar

Highlight
Now Playing
02:03
Irene Aguilar HighlightInterview Highlight
Now Playing
06:26
InterviewThe Interview
Now Playing
01:01
Imposter SyndromeWeb Exclusive
Now Playing
01:13
Celebrate Your Little SuccessesWeb Exclusive
Now Playing
01:10
There Is Value In The EffortWeb Exclusive
Now Playing
01:19
Reach Out For HelpWeb Exclusive
Now Playing
01:53
Extroversion As a SkillWeb Exclusive
Now Playing
02:24
Running for Local OfficeWeb Exclusive
Now Playing
02:19
Seize Opportunities To Make A DifferenceWeb Exclusive
Now Playing
02:13
Path to the SenateInterview Excerpt
Now Playing
02:26
Recognizing Our PotentialInterview Excerpt
Now Playing
00:51
What Is My Next Step?Interview Excerpt
See More
Milestones

Milestones

My road in life took a while to figure out.
Was often told that going to college would be a waste of time—says all it took was “one person to say that your potential is much greater than you think it is, so go for it.”
She became the first person in her family to get a college degree.
Worked for 23 years as a primary care provider for Denver Health and Hospitals; currently practices medicine at Clínica Tepeyac, which serves a primarily uninsured and Latino population.
Gave birth to a rare form of genetically identical twins, one of whom has developmental disabilities; this inspired her to participate in public service and health care advocacy.
After learning more about health insurance and how it is funded in the U.S., she became angered by the system—decided to run for public office in order to advance the cause of universal health care.
Received the governor's appointment to the Developmental Disabilities Council and also served on the Vulnerable Populations task force of Colorado’s Blue Ribbon Commission on health care reform.
Currently serving as one of four Colorado State Senators representing Denver and works primarily on the Committee of Health and Human Services.
Notable legislation she has sponsored includes: creating a commission of health care experts to analyze costs, expanding Medicaid eligibility, and improving access to childhood immunizations.
Keep following my journey
Education

Education

highschool
High School
undergrad
Bachelor
Biology/Biological Sciences, General
Washington University in St Louis
doctorate
Doctorate
Medicine
University of Chicago
Career

Career

Licensed M.D. / State Senator

I am doctor & a Colorado State Senator advocating for health care reform.

Career Roadmap

Roadmap
My work combines:
My work combines:
Medicine
Medicine
Politics
Politics
Helping People
Helping People

Day to Day

I write and draft legislation that mainly focuses around health care reform. I spend a lot of time networking and making connections to help pass the bills.

Skills & Qualities Beyond School

Learn how to self-analyze and ask for help when you need it. Reach out to others in your life or organizations that can offer guidance and support on your journey.

Advice for Getting Started

Here's the first step for high school students

It's important to focus on your next step, not what am I going to do with the rest of my life. This will keep you going on your path and keep you open to possibilities.

Recommended Education

My career is related to what I studied. I'd recommend the path I took:

undergrad
Bachelor
Biology/Biological Sciences, General
doctorate
Doctorate
Medicine
Hurdles

Hurdles

The Noise I Shed

From Family:

"Why are you going to college?? You are just going to end up getting married anyway. It's a waste of your time."

I went anyway because I knew that it was going to be important for my future and that I didn't have to choose. All it took was one person saying that my potential is more than what I thought it was in order to keep me going.

Challenges I Overcame

Financial
Financial

Helped support sisters who had children in their teens.

Physical Issues
Physical Issues

My daughter is developmentally disabled.

First-Generation College Student
First-Generation College Student

My family didn't initially support the idea of me going to school because they thought it would be a waste of time.