Brianna De Souza

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Hometown: Tampa, FL

Name of Undergraduate Institution: University of Miami

Major(s)/Minor(s) in College: Major: Health Science; Minor: Public Health and Economics

Name of Medical School: University of Miami Miller School of Medicine

Residency Program: Matched into the Family Medicine Program at the California Hospital Medical Center at the University of Southern California

Favorite Quote“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” – Romans 8:28

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Where are you currently at in your career path and why did you decide to pursue this career path?

I am on the verge of starting residency. I only have two more weeks left of medical school. I feel both nervous and excited about closing one chapter and starting a new chapter of my life. I decided to pursue medicine to help people, specifically to help underserved communities. I decided on family medicine as it underscores my own desires to work with a variety of patients while maintaining the autonomy to work in a variety of settings. Beyond starting my own medical practice, I see myself working as a medical journalist and continuing my work as a mentor to pre-medical/medical students.

If you could go back and have a chat with your naïve college freshman self, what would you tell her?

You are incredibly wise, intelligent, kind, and driven. You will be just fine, love. You will get into medical school, so stop worrying.

What is a major challenge you have had to overcome and how did you do so?

Being comfortable in this role as a medical student and eventually as a medical provider. Anytime I begin to feel comfortable, there's a change. 1st year and 2nd year you're in the classroom and then 3rd year hits and you're in the hospital. Then 4th year, the expectations change and now you're expected to act as an intern. Always changing. I've learned to accept the changes, but I'm constantly learning how to deal with change. That’s a never-ending life lesson.

What advice would you give to someone getting ready to start their application process to medical schools?

Be patient. Trust that you are deserving of the blessings heading your way. Trust that you are capable of doing the work. Find a support system. Remember to have fun along the way. And know that I'm rooting for you even though I've never met you!

Did you take some time off before medical school? If so, what did you do during that time?

No, I did not. If I had taken time off, I might not have wanted to come back to school.

Do you have any passions outside of school? If so, what are they?

Mentoring, Community service, and fashion (yes, I'm that girl! lol)

What do you like to do for fun?

Spend time with friends and family, try new restaurants, shop, travel…anything to expose me to new people and new experiences (and make some really great memories along the way).

What do you feel is the most challenging part of medical school? The easiest part?

Challenging part: Being good to yourself. You always want to be the best. You're always striving for it. And in the process, you can be really hard on yourself when you don't meet those expectations. That’s why a support system is necessary. Sometimes you need someone else to remind you of your “awesome-ness” or just re-vitalize you from a rough week.

Easiest part: Being in the room. As a black female, I appreciate having a seat at the table. I appreciate being in the lecture hall, being in the conference room, being at morning rounds/grand rounds/etc. Just being present and having an opportunity to express my thoughts is amazing!

How have you been able to deal with your romantic relationship and medical school at the same time?

I actually didn't struggle with balancing my prior relationship and medical school. And now that I'm single, I don’t struggle with balancing dating and medical school. I do struggle with dating, but I think that's every millennial (or at least, that's what I tell myself lol).

What did you do during the summer before you started medical school?

I worked 40-50 hours a week for Kaplan. I do not suggest anyone else does this. The paycheck was great and helped me pay for my move back to Miami. In reality I should have traveled at least once during that time.

What do you do to get through the stressful nature of medical school?

Pray and talk to my friends & family.

What extra-curricular activities are you involved in at your school?

SNMA, Gold Humanism Honor Society, DOCS (Department of Community Service), and the White Coat Society.

What is it like attending school in your city?

Fantastic! I love the patient population in Miami.

What were some of your involvements in college? Have those involvements helped you in any way in professional school?

MAPS. My involvement in MAPS paved the way for me to participate in SNMA. MAPS also helped me to start my own shadowing program, White Coat Society, which I've continued to be a part of since undergrad. Running the program as an undergrad and now as a medical student has been very rewarding.

Thank you so much for taking the time to share a bit of who you are with us and for your helpful advice Brianna! It is very much appreciated! I'm a big fan of the White Coat Society that you started at UM as well! And CONGRATS on matching!! You'll become an amazing physician!

Health Career Spotlights Home Page

Posted on March 23rd, 2017

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