Hometown: Winston-Salem, NC
Name of Undergraduate Institution(s): UNC – Chapel Hill
Major(s)/Minor(s) in College: Psychology Major/ Chemistry Minor
Name of Medical School: UNC School of Medicine
Favorite Quote: “There is no greater education than one that is self-driven.” – Neil deGrasse Tyson
Where are you currently at in your career path and why did you decide to pursue this career path?
I am currently a 4th year medical student at UNC who is applying to Internal Medicine residency programs this year. My first introduction to Internal Medicine was actually before medical school when I worked as a medical assistant and scribe for a private Endocrinology practice. I received valuable one-on-one education during my time there, which included learning the physical exam, how to think through medically complex patients, and how to be concise in charting. During that time, I deeply enjoyed learning about endocrinology, and to this day, I am still interested in pursuing a career in the field, especially after working with the Pediatric and Adult Endocrinology departments here at UNC during medical school. As I was going through my clinical years of medical school, there was one specialty that matched my desire to guide people through a vastly diverse breadth of diseases and conditions and to develop meaningful long-term relationships, especially in underserved populations. For me, that was Internal Medicine. While I still have a strong interest in Endocrinology, my other 4th year rotations within various medicine specialties showed me that I am open to any of the many different paths that Internal Medicine has to offer.
If you could go back and have a chat with your naïve college freshman self, what would you tell him?
I would tell him to seek out help from professors and tutors whenever he needed it. I would also tell him to find a mentor that can guide him and to be very outgoing with the mentor-mentee relationship.
What advice would you give to someone getting ready to start their application process to medical schools?
Apply early. Get everything ready as early as you can (MCAT scores, transcripts, etc.). With that, don’t apply until you are absolutely ready to do so; don’t rush it. Make sure your application is as complete as possible prior to pressing submit. Also, this is controversial, but I advise people to actually take some time off between undergraduate and medical school, at least a year. Know how it feels to NOT be in school. Get some more experiences in other realms. Travel if you have the resources to do so, even if it’s to another state you are not familiar with. Get out of your comfort zone and try things you wouldn’t otherwise try, or things you may not have had time to try during undergrad.
What do you like to do for fun?
I like to be active; my main activities are playing basketball, working out, and running. I’m an avid UNC basketball fan as well. I also like to go Latin dancing whenever I can (I was on my undergraduate Latin dance team).
What extra-curricular activities are you involved in at your school?
I am an invested member in the Student National Medical Association (SNMA). During my pre-clinical years, I was a MAPS/Pre-Medical Liaison. I worked with the undergraduate students here at UNC as well as other schools around the area. I am also a member of our SNMA Region’s Executive Board (there are 10 SNMA Regions, and I am part of Region IV). I had a 1-year term as Regional Secretary and am currently in the middle of my 2nd term as Regional Treasurer. I have also served as a SNMA National Future Leadership Project (FLP) Fellow. SNMA has taught me many valuable lessons in leadership, financial and creative planning as well as organization on a mass scale. I have a new base of knowledge and skills that I would have had difficulty obtaining otherwise without SNMA. I also have the opportunity to network with amazing people such as the author of BlackManMD.com, Christel!
Thanks a ton for taking some time to share some knowledge with us Brandon, we greatly appreciate it! Your advice will surely be heeded! Best of luck to you as you work on transitioning to the next phase of your life and become a successful physician!!
Posted on November 15th, 2017