Hi there! My name is Avanthi Jayaweera, and I was born outside of the DC metro area and grew up in Reston, Virginia. I graduated from Virginia Tech with degrees in the Spanish Language and Biological Sciences with a Microbiology Concentration. During undergrad, I volunteered regularly at a rural free clinic where I witnessed the consequences of systemic injustice in the healthcare system and developed a passion for advocacy and healthcare reform.
When I transitioned to VCU School of Medicine, I was enrolled in the Medically Underserved Track (I2CRP) to receive additional training in caring for vulnerable patient populations. During medical school, I also held many national leadership roles with the American Medical Student Association (AMSA) including serving on the Board of Trustees and as the 2018 Education and Advocacy Fellow. As the AMSA Fellow, I spent a year at the AMSA National Headquarters to mobilize physicians-in-training for a variety of issues related to gun violence prevention, civic engagement, access to medicines, and healthcare for all. I hosted multiple advocacy skills workshops in medical schools across the country to prepare medical trainees to challenge such barriers to health as the next generation of physician leaders. One of my most treasured memories in this role was organizing the Advocacy Leadership Summit to engage students in activism related to addressing the alarming influence of the pharmaceutical industry on medical education and public policy. With the experience I gained from this program, I designed a student-led curriculum at VCU focused on addressing the social determinants of health with physician advocacy for marginalized populations and community allyship.
The Underserved Track at UNC Family Medicine was the perfect fit for my interests in caring for vulnerable communities in a Federally Qualified Health Center and practicing full-scope family medicine, among many other things! Outside of work, I enjoy Latin dancing (particularly salsa and bachata!), preparing tasty desserts and spending time with my friends’ dogs.
Professional interests: health policy, comprehensive reproductive health, advocacy in medical education, LGBTQ+ health, global health, community medicine