OB Lead Clinican at Virginia Garcia Memorial Health Center in Hillsboro, OR
Monica M. Arce grew up in Lima, Peru. Her parents were both doctors, dad an OB/GYN, and mom and endocrinologist, so the dinner table conversation was frequently related to interesting cases in those fields. She moved to the US in 1990 to start college and was enrolled in pre-med at Tulane University.
Her long love of music took over her ambitions to be a doctor temporarily and she changed her major to music. She graduated in 1994 with a BFA in Music Theory and Composition, and flute performance, and moved to Portland, Oregon, to pursue a career in music.
She funded her musical career for 10 years working as a medical interpreter at Multnomah County and then at OHSU at the Center for Women’s Health, where she decided that she needed to look into a career in medicine again. Women’s health and underserved communities became a passion, and the most logical path at that point was to become a Certified Nurse-Midwife, so while being a mom of one child and working full-time she took night classes and online courses to complete her prerequisites.
In 2004 she started her course work towards the RN that led straight into a Masters in Nurse Midwifery at OHSU. Once graduated in 2007, she found the perfect place to work at Virginia Garcia Memorial Health Center, where she can advocate for underserved populations, latina women and speak her native language on a daily basis. She has delivered more than 600 babies in both Washington and Multnomah Counties.