Hometown: Jos, Nigeria
Name of Undergraduate Institution: University of Rochester
Major(s)/Minor(s) in College: Cell and Developmental Biology (B.S.), Health Behavior and Society (B.A.) Class of 2018
Name of Professional School(s):
Master in Public Health: Concentration in Global Health from New York University Class of 2020
First Year Medical Student at the Miller School of Medicine Class of Class of 2024
Favorite Quote: “Your only limitation is the one you set up in your own mind!” – Napoleon Hill
Contact Info: email@example.com
Where are you currently at in your career path and why did you decide to pursue this career path?
I am currently in my first year of medical school at the Miller School of Medicine. Medicine was always a natural attraction for me because it involved a career dedicated to the service of others. My personal experiences with my brother’s injury when he was extremely young was my first exposure to medicine. Through my brother’s extensive treatment regimen, I was able to grow an appreciation for medicine and continued to explore different experiences and exposures into the field. My goal within medicine is not only to serve as a clinician but to advocate for those medically underserved in both the U.S. and the global community. I chose to study public health in college in addition to my biology degree and to pursue an MPH before beginning medical school to better serve in this mission.
If you could go back and have a chat with your naïve college freshman self, what would you tell her?
Everything will work out. Read that again, everything will work out. It’s easy to get overwhelmed with everything in front of you. It’s easy to see all the tasks you have to complete before you start medical school and get intimidated, but everything will work out. Focus on doing what you have to do, and forget about the outcome because your work will speak for itself. I remembered sitting at an event and hearing how applying to medical school was a year-long process from the MCAT, primaries, secondaries to interviews and really getting intimidated, but the truth is I did all of that and I’m in medical school. All that stress and anxiety was for nothing. Plan out your process in bits and stop looking at the whole mountain in front of you because everything is achievable as long as you take it one step at a time. Trust yourself also, but that trust actually comes from doing the work and building that confidence in yourself.
What advice would you give to someone looking to pursue a similar path as yours?
I’m a strong proponent of being yourself and the right people and opportunities will find you. If you’re anything other than yourself, you’ll be less happy so why do that? You want a life and a career that’s fulfilling to you so focus on yourself and show up as the best version of you. You’ll perform better in a career and a path that means something to you than you would in a path prescribed to you by someone else.
What is your favorite thing about your medical school?
I love medical school, (well I’m only an M1, check back with me in 2 years). I’m definitely one of those people who was really excited about actually starting medical school. I love learning about the human body and all the amazing things it does. Studying medicine allows you study all the intricacies of the human body that many don’t get a chance to. Studying really feels fulfilling, and that’s how I know I’m in the right field for me. It’s also really interesting learning about how things go wrong and how we, as future physicians can fix things.
Do you have another professional degree? If so, how has it impacted you?
I have an MPH from NYU with a concentration in Global Health. After graduating college I knew I wanted to be a doctor, but I was not quite sure how global health, something I’m extremely passionate about, would fit in. From working on several Global Health Projects and seeing how physicians work within global health, it really helped me envision how I wanted to practice medicine.
What advice would you give to someone getting ready to start their application process to medical schools?
START EARLY! Ignore the deadlines listed on the websites. If you think you’re early you’re actually on time in the process so don’t wait and dwindle behind. This is something you really should not waste time on. Plan early, get everything organized and stay on top of things.
What do you feel is the most challenging part of medical school? The easiest part?
For me, personally the most challenging part initially was actually meeting people due to social distancing and being in a new city away from everyone I know. I definitely had not envisioned starting medical school like this, and I prefer in-person interactions over zoom interactions. Maintaining a healthy and balanced life outside school is just as important as school itself so that was my major challenge.
The easiest part I think are having zoom/pre-recorded lectures lol. I think it’s a lot easier having virtual lectures because it allows me to be more efficient with my time and sometimes watch lectures on 2x speed.
How have you been able to deal with your romantic relationship and medical school at the same time?
I’ve been in a relationship for three and a half years now, and it’s really been a blessing. My boyfriend is incredibly supportive and has been with me every step of the way. If your relationship is stressing you out during medical school, then he/she is not the one for you. Your partner should be part of your support system, not your stressor.
The difference now with school is less flexibility in when we can see each other (long distance struggles), but everything worthwhile is worth making the necessary time and sacrifice for so we do try to make sure we talk every day and see each other during my breaks.
What did you do during the summer before you started medical school?
I had plans to travel with my friends, throw a getting into medical school party in Miami, but unfortunately, due to COVID, that all went out the window.
What do you do to get through the stressful nature of medical school?
I like to work out. I work out 4 times a week religiously. It makes me feel great and relieves that extra pressure and stress.
I also love cooking and baking. I love the process and the end result, another great way to de-stress.
What extra-curricular activities are you involved in at your school?
I am a part of SNMA. I also am on the Global Surgery Track.
What were some of your involvements in college? Have those involvements helped you in any way in medical school?
I was on the executive board for the Minority Association of Pre-Medical Students for 3 out of my 4 years in college – helped me network, grow, find opportunities, and get exposed. MAPS really gave me an avenue to network and meet many individuals in the medical field. I also gained incredible mentors through this organization that I still keep up with. MAPS provided me with opportunities to attend medical conferences and learn about the different ways out there to practice medicine.
I conducted research at the University of Rochester Medical Center for 3 years. This was my main research exposure in college. I worked on three other research projects here and there but working in a basic science lab gave me a deeper understanding of science. I was working on a project that overlapped with my major in college, and this really helped tie things together for me, giving me a deeper understanding of what I was studying. It also exposed me to the patience, rigor and dedication involved in performing research and an appreciation for all the scientific discoveries that have contributed to our scientific body of knowledge.
Who are some of your favorite musicians? Favorite books? Shows? Movies?
Right now, my favorite artists are Masego, and Burna Boy.
Favorite Book: Americanah by Chimamanda
This is a plethora of wonderful information that you’ve shared with us Funmi! Thank you so much for taking the time to share all of this with us! Your words will surely inspire those who read this; there is a lot to learn from your experiences and the advice you’ve given us! Best of luck to you as you continue to forge ahead in your medical education!
Posted on April 29th, 2021