Born in Trinidad & Tobago, Sheantel Reihl immigrated to the United States at the age of 13, with her mother and two siblings. After significant challenges as both an undocumented immigrant and teen mother navigating the US health system without health insurance or financial resources, she discovered a passion for health access and equity.
She is a first-generation college graduate, receiving her undergraduate degree from Georgetown University, where she studied psychology with a pre-medicine concentration. During this time, she conducted research as a program and research assistant for Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI)-funded research projects in mental health help-seeking and stigma reduction in the Latino and African-American communities of the DC metro area.
In the summer of 2017, she began her medical education at University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine, while continuing to work on health disparities and health equity, especially as it pertains to immigrants, minorities, and low-income families. Her current research focuses on reducing enrollment and treatment disparities in clinical trials for adult brain tumors within the fields of neurosurgery and neuro-oncology. Her goal is to operationalize her passion for studying social determinants of health as an academic physician-scientist, prioritizing both individual patient care and population health.
Outside of her medical and research interests, Sheantel has taken on several leadership roles in organized medicine with the aim of increasing interest and pursuit of surgical specialties among women and minorities. For example, in her roles as president of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons - Student Chapter, Association of Women Surgeons - Student Chapter, and Women of Color in Surgery organizations. Yet, her most important role is as a single mother to two children; Avalyn, six and Jace, eight who themselves are busy with gymnastics, ballet, jujitsu, and soccer.