Transcript edited by Pierce Butler
This is the 23rd in a series of transcript excerpts from the collection of the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program at the University of Florida.
Marie François was interviewed by Rebecca Minardi [M] in 2013.
F: Marie Jose Francois
M: Jose like Ho-sea?
F: Like Ho-sea.
I was born in Haiti, in 1953, Port-Au-Prince.
In 1983, after medical school—I came in the U.S. because the political area was not really the way I would like to see it. Freedom of speech—you cannot say what you want—and I look at healthcare in Haiti. It wasn’t really living up to the standard of me studying medicine. So my husband and I, we decided to come in the U.S.
M: What kind of medicine did you study?
F: General practitioner of medicine. When I came here, I did not pass the board. But, I did not let that stop me. I did a Master Degree in Public Health. And that give me another view. Medicine has two parts. Prevention and Treatment. In the U.S., the focus was on treatment, not prevention.
I received my Degree through Loma Linda, California—but I did it at Florida Hospital. My focus switched. I said, if I equip community with knowledge about what’s wrong with them, they will have a better control of their sickness.