Hometown: Los Angeles, CA
Name of Undergraduate Institution: California State University of Dominguez Hills
Major(s)/Minor(s) in College: B.S. in Health Science with concentrations in Health Care Management and Community Health
Name of Professional Schools:
Creighton University where I received my Master of Public Health (MPH) & Saba University School of Medicine where I am currently pursuing my Medical Degree (MD)
Contact Info: Instagram: @curlyhairmd / I always answer my DMs lol.
Where are you currently at in your career path and why did you decide to pursue this career path?
I’ve always wanted to be a physician. When I was about five, my mom took me to take your child to work day. She worked as a surgery scheduler at Kaiser Permanente and a doctor that she worked for took me around and showed me what he did. I fell in love with medicine ever since. Right now, I am in year three of medical school, where we rotate to various specialties to receive hands-on training.
If you could go back and have a chat with your naïve college freshman self, what would you tell her?
Most of what I would say now to my younger self was said by my mother during that time, so instead I would urge her to listen. My mom has never stirred me wrong. She would always tell me to stay focused, take it seriously, be persistent, consistent and have fun. The relationships you will develop may or may not be here years from now but hold on to your education, that will stay with you forever.
What advice would you give to someone looking to pursue a similar path as yours?
Identify the pros and cons of what you’re trying to pursue before making a decision and then once you make that decision, stick to it. It’s going to be hard, yes, but so what? It takes a lot of time, yes, but so what? Time passes by anyway. Everything worth having isn’t easy. You have to put the work in for the reward. When we learn to get out of our own way and stop over analyzing it and just do the work, we find how easy making a decision and sticking to it really is.
What is a major challenge you have had to overcome and how did you do so?
The biggest challenge I had to overcome was comparing myself to my peers. In medicine, you don’t see a lot of black women pursuing medicine. So, for me, I felt a need to try my best to relate to my peers. But after a while, I kind of just forgot about that and focused more on upgrading myself to my best self. When I did that, my grades got better, my success started peaking and I started focusing more on my inner self.
What is your favorite thing about your medical school?
They gave me a chance. I had an average MCAT and a slightly above-average GPA. So instead of even attempting to apply to the U.S medical schools, I found a Caribbean school with full accreditation and a history of making some of the best physicians. I wasn’t going to accept a no, nor was I going to spend thousands just to get a lot of no’s when I could get that one yes and handle my business.
Do you have another professional degree? If so, how has it impacted you?
I have an MPH which has honestly helped me look at the underserved populations in a broader light. It taught me how to look at my patients in an overall light rather than focusing on the diagnosis of a patient. Sometimes we don’t realize that someone’s everyday life impacts their health.
Thanks a ton for taking the time to share all of this wonderful and inspiring information with us Erycka! Your motivating words will hopefully help push the readers of this feature to achieve the goals they've set for themselves! We'll be rooting for you as you continue your medical education and eventually transition into your career in medicine as a physician!
Posted on April 2nd, 2019