Hometown: North Miami, FL
Name of Undergraduate Institution: The University of Miami
Major: Exercise Physiology
Minor(s): Sports Medicine; Chemistry
Name of Medical School: Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine at FIU
“It is best to act with confidence no matter how little right you have to it.” – Lillian Hellman
“Be nervous.” – Kadeem Walker
Contact Info: firstname.lastname@example.org
Additional Links: LinkedIn: Kadeem Walker
Where are you currently at in your career path and why did you decide to pursue this career path?
I am currently a third-year medical student at Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine at FIU. Growing up in a single parent household, I saw my mom struggle to make ends meet. I wanted a career in which I could provide for others and provide for my family….without struggle. After several shadowing experiences at UM, I found an interest in orthopedic surgery. Medical school was the next step….and here I am.
If you could go back and have a chat with your naïve college freshman self, what would you tell him?
Pick a major that you’re interested in. I entered UM as a Biology major because that was “the pre-med thing to do.” I ended up switching to Exercise Physiology in my spring semester. Best decision I made. If biology is your thing, go for it; but you do not need a particular major to succeed in medical school.
What advice would you give to someone looking to pursue a similar path as yours?
There isn’t a single perfect formula. Academics and test scores are important. Being involved is just as important (especially at FIU). Stay focused, but enjoy the ride. There will be many ups and downs. Weather the storm. BE CONFIDENT.
What is a major challenge you have had to overcome and how did you do so?
My MCAT score was pretty weak. To overcome this, I made sure that all other aspects of my application were strong – volunteer work, clinical experiences, interviews, etc.
What advice would you give to someone getting ready to start their application process to medical schools?
Three major keys: (1) If you don’t understand something or if you aren’t sure about something, ASK! (2) Try to talk to individuals who have just completed the process. It’s fresh in their brains. (3) Find what makes you different from everyone else—and run with it. Everyone has the GPA. Everyone has the MCAT Score. What makes you a better candidate?
Did you take some time off before medical school? If so, what did you do during that time?
I almost did, unwillingly. Because of my lack of acceptances by late April, I applied and was accepted to the University of Miami Strength and Conditioning Master’s program. I most likely would have completed the Master’s program and reapplied for medical school the following year if FIU did not call in early May.
What do you like to do for fun?
BALL IS LIFE – Watching sports. Playing sports. Working out. Eating (Chipotle). Listening to Music. Dancing. Road trips.
What do you feel is the most challenging part of professional school? The easiest part?
The most challenging part of medical school is watching my hairline recede. The easiest part is realizing my weaknesses. Medical school is a different animal. If you slip up, you will be exposed.
How have you been able to deal with your romantic relationship and medical school at the same time?
She’s in medical school too. Our schedules are similar, so it makes it pretty easy.
What did you do during the summer before you started medical school?
I worked out A LOT and watched Family Feud A LOT. I gained 15-20 pounds, but I lost it all by the end of the first semester.
What extra-curricular activities are you involved in at your school?
Co-president of the Orthopedic Surgery/Sports medicine interest group (M1 and M2 years); Research at Baptist Hospital of Miami; Special Olympics of Miami-Dade Volunteer
What is it like attending school in your city/town?
I’ve lived in Miami my whole life. There’s never a dull moment. You’re 20 minutes from South Beach, Brickell, Coral Gables and Downtown. And most importantly, it’s 80 degrees in December. FINS Up!
What were some of your involvements in college? Have those involvements helped you in any way in medical school?
- University of Miami Track and Field Athlete
- Intramurals Supervisor
- Mini Canes Recreational Camp Counselor
- Pi Kappa Phi Member
- Doctors Hospital Volunteer
- Orthopedic Surgery Shadowing at UM Hospital
- Exercise Physiology Research Assistant
These activities helped to develop leadership/communication skills and improve my confidence with decision making. And, of course, TIME MANAGEMENT!!!
This is real dope bro! Thanks a ton for helping out with this initiative and for taking the time to answer these questions Kadeem! Your wise words and practical tips means more than you could imagine to so many people! And I totally feel you with the less-than-ideal MCAT score and the late acceptance; I was in that same boat!
Posted on January 27th, 2017