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Date published: August 1, 2023

August Resident Spotlight: Victor Acosta-Rivera, MD

In this month’s Resident Spotlight, we feature 
Victor Acosta-Rivera, MD, an upcoming third-year Internal Medicine resident on the primary care track, from Bayamón, Puerto Rico. We recently caught up with Dr. Acosta-Rivera to learn more about his clinical and research interests, hobbies, and favorite Worcester activities! 


What are your clinical and research interests?
My main interests in the field of medicine include the growing field of research and discussion regarding healthcare disparities as they relate to racial, gender, and socioeconomic inequalities, to name a few. Over the past few decades, ongoing research has demonstrated how patients have unique characteristics that make them a heterogenous group of individuals. Due to this, a homogenous approach to treatment may not be optimal as there are important differences when it comes to age, gender, race, and even cultural backgrounds. There is also a recognition that most of our clinical research have significantly underrepresented patient populations, making the extrapolation of data to these populations uncertain. As healthcare providers, it is imperative we take a step back and observe how previous practices, which are now regarded as outdated, racist, and/or sexist, have shaped the way we practice medicine today and have even led to the development of our implicit biases. For these reasons, I decided to focus a quality improvement project on improving the outpatient encounter times with patients who do not speak English and require the aid of interpreter services. I also joined a leadership position on the Diversity Action Committee (DAC) of our institution.  

What makes UMass a great place for your residency?
UMass, being a large, tertiary, academic, and safety-net hospital provides its learners with ample opportunity to see varied, and complex, clinical pathology as well as interact with a large influx of diverse patient populations. Residents here also have access to a great variety of medical subspecialties ranging from interventional cardiology to neurosurgery, allowing learners and patients to have a more complete and definitive medical experience. Most importantly, UMass is a great place for residency because of its people. Here, I have found the friendliest group of people that are always ready to lend a hand no matter the circumstances. This was something I noticed since my first interview and is one of the main reasons I decided to pursue my residency training here.  

Favorite hobby?
In my free time, I enjoy reading a good novel, mainly in the genres of fantasy, thrillers, suspense, and medical history, as well as playing guitar and occasionally video games.   

Favorite thing to do in Worcester/Worcester area?
I consider myself a foodie, and my favorite activity to do in the Worcester area is discovering new restaurants, cafes, and pubs with my wife.