Hometown: Charlotte, North Carolina
Name of Undergraduate Institution: Johnson C. Smith University
Major(s)/Minor(s) in College: Major: Biology, Minor: Chemistry
Name of Medical School: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine
Favorite Quote: By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.
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’m currently a third-year medical student at UNC – Chapel Hill. My older brother, Chris, is an alumnus of the UNC School of Medicine. Growing up, I always wanted to follow in his footsteps. There were many moments that inspired me to become a doctor, but one in particular sticks out in my mind. A few years ago, my brother was a third-year medical student. I was talking to him on the phone after he completed a shift in the emergency room. He told me about a man who accidently dropped a chainsaw on his leg and injured himself badly. My brother was the one who cleaned the wound and sutured his leg. As I was listening to his story, the reason why I wanted to become a doctor became very clear to me. There is no greater honor or privilege than to live a life of service to those in need. For me, becoming a doctor was the best way I could fulfill that purpose.
If you could go back and have a chat with your naïve college freshman self, what would you tell him?
I had the imposter syndrome when I was a freshman in college, and in many ways I still struggle with it today. However, I would go back in time and tell myself to stop doubting my capabilities. Have supreme confidence in yourself. All the trials and tribulations that you were going through were for a purpose. Don’t give up, because your breakthrough is right around the corner. You are smart enough to get into, and thrive in medical school. God has a plan for you that is greater than your imagination!
What advice would you give to someone getting ready to start their application process to medical schools?
Start your application as early as possible. If I remember correctly, AMCAS opens the application a month before you can officially submit it. During that month, you should be working as hard as you can to complete it. The earlier you can complete the application, the earlier schools will look at your application, and the earlier you can move through the process. I made the mistake of waiting till late September to send mine off because I waited too long to start it. That was just wasted time.
What do you like to do for fun?
I love to play sports. I’ve played intermural basketball and flag football every year in medical school thus far. It’s a great way to stay active. I like to lift a few days a week whenever I can. I also enjoy watching football and basketball on TV whenever I can. I love going to the movies, hanging out with friends, and playing Call of Duty and FIFA.
What do you do to get through the stressful nature of medical school?
I do the things I love to do. A common misconception about medical school is that you won’t have any free time. That’s not true. You have time to do all the things you want to do, but you will have less time to do it. If you can imagine time being a slice on a pie chart, that slice is just skinnier than it used to be. Yes, school can be extremely busy and stressful, but when I do have time for myself, I pull the trigger on things I want to do. Doing things I enjoy is a huge stress reliever for me. I encourage anyone going through professional school to continue doing the things they enjoy, because it will energize and sustain you through the tough times.
Thank you for sharing both your great advice and important experiences with us Andrew! It’s definitely important to remain well-rounded while in medical school, and it’s awesome to see that you’ve been able to use your time effectively! Keep on grinding and best of luck to you as you continue to advance closer towards becoming an M.D.!
Posted on February 17th, 2018