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Book details
  • SubGenre:Personal Memoirs
  • Language:English
  • Pages:398
  • eBook ISBN:9780984164318

Out of the Fields

My Journey from Farmworker Boy to Pediatrician

by Ramon Resa MD

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Growing up as a farmworker in a family of fifteen, Ramon never imagined he could become a doctor. Abandoned by his single mother, who had five kids before the age of twenty, he grew up in an environment of severe poverty, neglect, and a total disregard for education. At the age of three, he was picking cotton in the fields of Central California.

It was his elementary-school teachers who opened his eyes to the idea of education and awakened in him the dream of going to college and becoming a doctor. It wasn’t easy. He had to overcome low self-esteem, a speech impediment, recurring depression, prejudice, discouragement from school counselors, and even opposition from his grandparents, who wanted him to get a factory job and pay them back for having taken him in when no one else wanted him.

But Ramon persisted and eventually fulfilled his dream. For the past twenty years, he’s been in private practice in the same central California region where he grew up. “I see myself in many of my young patients who come from farmworker families as I did,” he says, “and my mission is to be a role model who cares for their spirits as well as their bodies.”

His heartbreaking yet triumphant life story is being told as a feature length documentary film which will be released in early 2017. A 4-minute film teaser is available to view now RamonRising.Film

Ramon’s story is truly “The American Dream.” Deep within himself, he found the courage to pursue his vision of becoming a doctor, a healer who could save others from much of the misery that he had experienced. There were no outside forces working to fuel his confidence. In fact, just the opposite was true. Everywhere he looked, he encountered discouragement. Ramon’s story is the story of human potential, the unique personal potential that exists within us independently from any external source. It is also a story of hope and how we can keep it alive inside, even when there is no visible evidence that our dreams can come true. I hope you read this book slowly and aloud with others. Share it, savor it, cry with it, let your heart glow with joy from it. Make this a book that stimulates deep reflection within you. Reflect upon your own dreams, especially the ones you’ve long neglected or nearly forgotten. You are not limited by your age, your health, your relationships, or your finances nearly as much as by your own unwillingness to dream and persist. So, set yourself free to become the person God designed you to be. Let Ramon’s book be the encouraging hand on your shoulder and the resonant voice in your ear that says, “You can do it!...I believe in you!...You are special and important to this world!...We need you!” Ramon is a unique and gifted individual with an important place in history. His legacy will be felt for many generations— Jim Cathcart
About the author

Dr. Ramon Resa is a father, pediatrician, keynote speaker and author of Out of the Fields: My Journey from Farmworker Boy to Pediatrician. He’s been treating children and their families in the Central Valley for over 30 years.

Abandoned by his single mother, who had 5 children before she turned 20, Ramon was given to a farm working couple in Central Valley, California. He was raised as one of 15 children in the couple’s household. It was a Dickensian environment of poverty, physical and sexual abuse, alcoholism, and total disregard for education.

His often lonely and frustrating struggle was intensified by elementary school. Ramon’s guardians didn’t have hot running water in the house so he didn’t have a way to bathe or wash his clothes.  He suffered from a severe speech impediment and struggled to learn to speak English. But it was one of his teachers who awakened him to the hope of getting an education so he could make a better life for himself.

It wasn’t easy. Ramon had to face and overcome low self-esteem, a speech impediment, recurring depression, racism and prejudice, and a high school counselor who told him he wasn’t smart enough to go to college. Even his guardians tried to kill his desire to get an education. They forbade Ramon to leave for college, insisting he get a factory job and pay them back for taking him in.

But Ramon triumphed, armed only with a stubborn belief in himself and the refusal to admit that the odds were stacked against him. After graduating from UC Santa Cruz, he attended UC Irvine Medical School, did his pediatric residency at UCSF Fresno, and opened his private practice.

He’s living proof of how perseverance, resilience, hope, and education can give meaning to a life. His heartbreaking yet triumphant life story is being told as a feature length documentary film which will be released in early 2017. A 4-minute film teaser is available to view now RamonRising.Film

Ramon and his wife Debbie have two college-educated children, a daughter and a son. Joshua Resa, their son, attended Stanford for his undergrad and UCSF Medical School. He, too, is a pediatrician. Marina Resa graduated from UCSC and then received a family counseling degree. She is also a successful actress in film and television.

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