Always a Panther: From DHS to Doctor; Alum to Serve Disenfranchised Communities

Gabriel Franklin
Gabriel Franklin Photo courtesy Duncanville ISD

Duncanville High School Alum Pursues Career in Medicine

Gabriel Franklin says he discovered he wanted to pursue a medical career while he was a student at Duncanville High School.

“I knew I had an interest in science, but when I took my Anatomy and Physiology class, that really solidified it for me,” Gabriel said.

Gabriel says everyone at Duncanville High School, from his basketball coaches, band directors and teachers encouraged him to pursue his dreams.

“They’ve all been super supportive,” Gabriel said. “Whenever I had an idea or a new goal, they would push me toward that.”

When asked about his favorite high school memories, Gabriel is especially enthusiastic.

“Marching band, marching band, band, band, band!” he said.

Gabriel began playing percussion in the sixth grade and continued all the way through his senior year.

“All my best friends were in band with me,” Gabriel said. “Creating music was a lot of fun.

It wasn’t even like I was in class; I was doing something I truly just loved.”

Gabriel graduated from DHS in 2008, and attended the University of North Texas where he earned bachelor’s degrees in both Spanish and Biology. He also completed his Medical Spanish Certificate and became a Certified Pharmacy Technician.

Texas Is Home

Gabriel wasn’t finished there. In just one year, he completed a master’s degree in Biomedical Sciences at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio and was then accepted to medical school at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley.

Like students everywhere, Gabriel had part of his year completely changed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Fortunately, he was finished with most of his requirements and was able to graduate – albeit online – with his medical degree.

Now, Gabriel is in his first year of residency at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Tyler with plans to finish as a board certified practitioner in family medicine in 2023.

Gabriel wants to stay in Texas, and he is considering pursuing a fellowship in community medicine with a focus on treatment of HIV. As a gay man, Gabriel says he is especially passionate about providing medical services to the LGBTQ+ community.

“With my personal life and my education, I’ll be able to better treat and provide better medical services to those marginalized communities,” Gabriel said. “I grew up never seeing any gay doctors or any black gay doctors. I have been blessed with so many people in my life who guided me and helped me get to where I am, and it all started out with Duncanville.”