Hometown: Chicago, IL
Name of Undergraduate Institution: The University of Miami
Major(s)/Minor(s) in College: Biology Major/Chemistry and Management Minors
Name of Medical School: Howard University College of Medicine
Favorite Quote: “Excellence of performance will transcend artificial barriers created by man.” – Charles Drew, MD
Where are you currently at in your career path and why did you decide to pursue this career path?
I’m an M2 at Howard University College of Medicine at the moment. I chose to pursue becoming a physician because of the juxtaposition of leadership and altruism that the job requires. In no other profession will you find the challenge of meeting a stranger and having them put enough faith in you to trust you with their life. It’s a daunting task when you put it into perspective, but I couldn’t imagine myself doing anything else. There have been bumps along the road since I verbalized that I wanted to be a physician in high school (when I started really enjoying science). However, through all of the doubt and fear, God has placed me in every situation He saw fit for me, and I see that not only as blessing for me but for the many patients that I’ll be able to help and the future physicians that will see someone like them in a field they dreamed about.
If you could go back and have a chat with your naïve college freshman self, what would you tell him?
Self, don’t take the doubt of others personally man. No one is responsible for believing in or executing your dream but you. Envision where it is that you’re going loosely (allowing room for change and growth) and do the hard and rugged work it requires to manifest it. Fortunately and unfortunately, I had a bunch of pushback from administrators who didn’t necessarily believe in me during the application process for medical school. I also didn’t offer them the best GPA from my early undergraduate career to believe in me. However, it forced me to find mentors who did believe in me and would vouch for me, and it forced me to be on my “A” game academically toward the end of my career.
Do you have another professional degree? If so, how has it impacted you?
I received my MPH from the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine in 2017. The MPH has opened my eyes to how health and well-being are integrated into and influence every second of our lives. From the sidewalks we walk on to the access to a grocery store, health is more than just the physician and the patient. Now in medical school, I am aware that while I will have an impact on a patient’s health in some respect, the environment around them can either act synergistically or in contrast to the outcomes I and the patient want to see. That has placed me in the mindset that I eventually want to be involved with public policy because if we can’t help change the environment around the patient, we are doing them a disservice.
What do you feel is the most challenging part of medical school? The easiest part?
The most challenging part of medical school easily is the amount of material and the amount of time they expect you to memorize and digest it (like chill bruh…y’all doing too much). If I’m being honest, I still struggle with that today even though it has become a lot easier the further I progress. The easiest part is connecting with like-minded individuals who are just as intelligent, talented, and outgoing. Medical school attracts fun, hardworking people, and I think that makes the ability to make friendships much easier.
What were some of your involvements in college? Have those involvements helped you in any way in medical school?
In college, I had the opportunity to serve in leadership capacities in our Greek community, our campus tour guides, and an ambassador for the College of Arts and Sciences and Student Affairs. I’ve taken the development of my communication skills from these roles to medical school. Team environments are literally the only type of environment in med school and being able to adapt to different communication styles has been of great use thus far. I’m also happy I learned how to discern when to step up and take the lead and when to sit back and listen in undergrad because it comes in handy with different personalities in team-based environments.
What is it like attending school in your city?
Everything is FREE (but if it isn’t, it’s hella expensive)! The presence of culture in a city is huge to me, and D.C. has it for sure. From museums to nightlife to concerts and festivals, there’s something to do year-round. It’s not as much of “chocolate city” as it used to be, but there are still plenty of young professionals of color, which makes it feel like I belong here. There’s nothing spectacular about the food (cue the diatribe from all the Washingtonians lol), but other than that, it’s a great city to be a young professional in.
Thank you for taking the time to share some of your invaluable experiences with us bro! Your experiences, coupled with the wisdom that you’ve acquired over the years, will be tremendously helpful to those who read this! Keep on powering through medical school and achieving the goals that you’ve set for yourself! We’re proud of how far you’ve come and will be cheering you on as you continue your medical journey! 👌🏿
Posted on February 26th, 2019