Hometown: Boynton Beach, FL
Name of Undergraduate Institution: Florida State University
Major(s)/Minor(s) in College: Exercise Science Major
Name of Medical School: Florida State University College of Medicine
Favorite Quote: “Through discipline, comes freedom.” – Aristotle
Contact Info: firstname.lastname@example.org
Where are you currently at in your career path and why did you decide to pursue this career path?
I am currently a first-year medical student. I made the decision to attend medical school while I was caring for my mother who battled breast cancer. Witnessing the physical and emotional pain that cancer caused her was very challenging for me. Unfortunately, my mother passed away in 2015 due to her condition. From that moment, I grew a burning desire to study medicine so that I could play a positive role in the health of others.
If you could go back and have a chat with your naïve college freshman self, what would you tell him?
If I could chat with my freshman self, I would tell him to take the time to find your identity in college. There are various organizations, opportunities, and unique learning experiences available to college students. Instead of only focusing on studying, try to take advantage of different resources to help shape who you are as an individual.
What advice would you give to someone looking to pursue a similar path as yours?
First, I would advise them to do some research on the path it takes to become a physician. This will help guide them in the right direction as far as courses needed or experiences to take part in. Secondly, I would tell them to try to find a mentor who is in medical school. A mentor may help you avoid some of the common mistakes made along the path. Lastly, I would tell them to stay focused on their end goal. No matter how challenging things may seem, continue to believe that you will become a doctor.
What is a major challenge you have had to overcome and how did you do so?
A major challenge I had to overcome was my own personal beliefs about myself as a student. Initially in undergraduate studies, I was a sub-par student academically. This led me to believe that medical school was not possible for me. Once I finally evaluated myself, I realized that a lack in discipline is what I was really missing. I began to see major improvements academically once I implemented discipline and consistency into my studies.
What advice would you give to someone getting ready to start their application process to medical schools?
For the application process, I would advise applicants to let their true personality shine. Instead of trying to fit into a mold, really let the schools know who you are. The secondary applications and experience sections are great areas to set yourself apart from thousands of other applicants. Include the things that you love to do, and do not feel restricted to only make it medicine related.
Do you have any passions outside of school? If so, what are they?
My main passion outside of school is participating in physical exercise. That includes weight training, and some form of aerobic training. At one point in medical school, I completely stopped working out to study more. This was a huge mistake, and I started to feel slightly depressed. I would advise anyone in professional school to continue to make time for things they love.
What do you feel is the most challenging part of medical school? The easiest part?
I think the most challenging part of medical school is handling the vast amount of material that you need to learn. To overcome this challenge, I create study plans and try to stick to them as best as possible. I really cannot say that professional school has an easy part. However, I can say that the journey can be enjoyable if you keep a positive perspective throughout your experiences.
What do you do to get through the stressful nature of medical school?
Personally, I use various tactics to overcome the stressful nature of medical school. For me, working out one hour per day helps to reduce stress and anxiety. In addition, I make sure to take adequate breaks while I am studying. During my breaks, I either meditate or take a brisk walk to get my mind refreshed.
Who are some of your favorite musicians? Favorite books? Shows? Movies?
My favorite musicians include Drake, Big Sean, Future, Migos, and Kodak Black. My favorite book is the Autobiography of Malcolm X. My favorite shows are anything basketball related. Lastly, my favorite movie is Coming to America.
Thanks a ton for your thoughtful responses and for your wonderful wisdom Allan! I wholeheartedly agree with your advice, especially with finding your identity in college, finding a mentor in medical school and making time for the things you enjoy while in professional school. I hope that your first year of medical school has gone well and I wish you the best of luck as you continue on in your medical education!
Posted on April 22nd, 2018