Tattoo Remover Dr. Luis Moreno, Ya'stuvo Tattoo Removal Clinic, East Los Angeles
By Luis Moreno; Interview by Julie Schlosser

(FORTUNE Magazine) – Ya'stuvo is slang for "I've Had It." That's the name of the clinic, but a lot of people just call it Homeboy Laser Tattoo Removal Clinic. We work on gang members who are trying to leave that life and get jobs. All the treatments we do are free.

I went to Harvard Medical School, and when I was in the last part of my residency at UCLA, Father Gregory J. Boyle, who runs Homeboy Industries, came to one of our rounds. He said, "We have this laser, but we just don't have a doctor. Is anybody interested?" I started as a volunteer. After eight or nine months, for liability reasons, they had to put me on staff. I come here twice a week and also work in the emergency room at three hospitals.

Everyone says it is more painful than putting a tattoo on. We have Chuck the rubber chicken, which they can just squeeze the hell out of. I see gang members in the ER with a gunshot or stab wound, or I see the victims of their crimes, but here you're treating them and seeing that they really want to get out of this life. They want something better for their family. Maybe that's the real reason I appreciate working here more than the ER. In the ER I see the worst of society, the violence. Here you see people trying to make a change. That's encouraging. --Interview by Julie Schlosser