How Dr. Will Mundo Met His Moment at CU Denver

January 22, 2024

For Dr. Will Mundo, there is a very specific moment when education changed his life. He was sitting in a CU Denver class when the professor started talking about health equity and social justice. He realized—in that discussion—that he could become a doctor and support change in his community.  

But, for a long time, college wasn’t on Mundo’s radar. His parents moved from Acapulco, Mexico, and settled in Leadville, Colorado. In the small town, Mundo’s father was a healer for the community. He helped people without health insurance and access, even though he hadn’t graduated from high school. That knowledge empowered Mundo to continue his father’s legacy and become a doctor.   

Moving from Leadville to Denver for college was an adjustment. He lived in the dorms his first year, which gave him a chance to acclimate to the city. “CU Denver was kind of like a home away from home in the sense that when I got here, everybody was really accepting and welcoming,” Mundo said. “It’s a friendly campus for first-generation students. No matter where you look, everybody has a unique story.” 

While Mundo said investing in his education was daunting, at first, he quickly found resources and scholarships that would help him make it work. “It’s nice that CU Denver really cares about their students, and they offer so many different scholarships for different reasons,” he said. (His tip for students? Don’t forget to look at small scholarships and funding streams because it all adds up.) 

On top of that, the university’s resources—free tutoring, mentoring, extracurriculars, wellness center, and more—provided additional value. It allowed him to go from being a pre-health major to graduation and then on to a master’s in public health. With two diplomas in hand, he headed off to medical school at CU Anschutz, where he graduated with a doctor of medicine in 2022.  

At CU Denver, you’re able to really reach for your dreams.

–Will Mundo

Today, he’s midway through a four-year residency at Denver Health. “I’m the people’s doctor,” Mundo said. “It’s nice to be that frontline in the healthcare workforce, and to be able to take care of anyone, anything, anytime.” He feels especially rewarded when he can speak to patients in their first language and help them navigate the healthcare system.  

His family, especially his mom, remains a cornerstone for him. And he loves coming home to his toddler daughter’s pure joy after a long shift. Mundo feels even more inspired to give back, whether that is helping other students walk their paths, connecting with patients who are inspired to see a doctor that looks like them, or helping others. He also wrote a book, titled: From Margins to Medicine: A First-Generation Student Healthy Equity Guide on Overcoming Adversity with Diversity

Will Mundo and his daughter.

He is unequivocal when asked what he wants prospective students to know about CU Denver. “The wraparound services that CU Denver has…are really great because they support you in every aspect of becoming a successful college student,” Mundo said. “Without those supports, I don’t know if I would have been able to make it to med school.”  

And he encourages first-generation students to see opportunity instead of limitations. “Being a first-generation student means that you get to craft your own future,” Mundo said. “You come into college with no limits. You could be whatever you want. Take that to heart because here at CU Denver, you’re able to really reach for your dreams.”