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Off the streets and into the OR: a new UCLA doctor turns his life around

Off the streets and into the OR: a new UCLA doctor turns his life around

Two very different documents define James Maciel's unusual life journey. The older one is a photocopy of his court records from the late '90s, showing arrests for graffiti vandalism and possession of a handgun that landed him in Orange County Juvenile Hall and the Youth Guidance Center for six months. It is an unhappy souvenir of a teenage phase that could have led to hard-core gang life and all its dangers, he said recently. The other document is his new UCLA medical diploma, earned at the relatively late age of 33 while he and his wife were raising their three children. The diploma is a passport to Maciel's upcoming residency in surgery at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, the...

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