Hometown: Houston, TX
Name of Undergraduate Institution: Baylor University
Major(s)/Minor(s) in College: Biology Major
Name of Medical School: University of Texas Medical Branch
Favorite Quote: “Impossible is just a word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they've been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact. It's an opinion. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing.” – Muhammad Ali
Additional Links: I created Melanin Doc, a blog with stories from minorities in the medical field. Where people keep it real and let people know what the life of medicine is really about. Follow us @MelaninDoc and on Facebook.com/MelaninDoc
Where are you currently at in your career path and why did you decide to pursue this career path?
Right now I am a second-year in medical school and preparing for Step 1, which is pretty much the test that decides what you can do in medicine. So I am just trying to make it right now. To be honest I was not interested in medicine, just in sports and having fun. My mom was in the medical field, so she always said that I would fit in medicine. I really wanted to pursue sports but my Nigerian mom was not trying to hear that at all. When I went to college I was just trying to figure things out while on the premedical route, but I was not really feeling how much work you had to do in Biology 1. In my head, I could not justify working so hard for something I did not know for sure I wanted to do. I get pretty passionate about things and there was no passion for medicine. Luckily for me I was convinced to go to this medical program called SMDEP. They also said they would pay us to go so I really couldn’t lose. To be honest, if I did not go to that program, I know for sure I would not be in medical school right now. So after my freshman year I went to Duke Medical School for 6 weeks, where I was immersed in medicine and got to work with doctors in different specialties. The biggest influence was that this program was for minorities and seeing black doctors for the first time really did a lot for my confidence in medicine. We had black physicians come in and talk to us and encourage us each week about different fields in medicine. I really believe that representation and presence is important and this experience completely changed my drive for medicine. At that point I decided I can do this. That’s when I chose medicine.
If you could go back and have a chat with your naïve college freshman self, what would you tell him?
If I could go back to the naïve college freshman, I would have said to step out of your comfort level more often. Honestly, college is a good time just to explore yourself and find out what is for you and what is not. I would have also said to focus more on your needs and to not worry about what people think, because at the end of the day every decision you make, no one else will have to live with it except you.
What advice would you give to someone looking to pursue a similar path as yours?
If you are pursing medicine, there’s a couple things you need to do. Spiritually and Mentally commit to it. You first have to want to choose medicine and decide you will get there, no matter what. Then you must believe in yourself and your abilities, no matter what happens. These two things are important because there’s always going to be obstacles and challenges, but that’s part of the process and you need to pass those up to prove to yourself and God that you deserve your goal. Then there are going to be the haters and friends that do not see your vision. But you can not let that distract you because everyone has their own path to walk and you can not take the directions of someone that is not going where you are going.
Do you have any passions outside of school? If so, what are they?
My passions outside of school is playing sports and staying active. I like business, at least the aspect of coming up with an idea and creating it and then sharing it. I also play the guitar which is a good stress release.
Who are some of your favorite musicians? Favorite books? Shows? Movies?
Right now I’m listening to Future, Migos, Jidenna, Bob Marley, John Mayer, and Lauryn Hill. Actually started liking books when I wasn’t forced to read them but “The Alchemist” is probably my favorite book. Scrubs is pretty funny, just finished ATL and Insecure.
Thanks a ton for your help with this initiative Randy! I’m sure a number of people can relate to your story and are appreciative of you sharing how you ended up where you are today! Your words of wisdom are greatly appreciated as well! Best of luck to you as you work to vanquish Step 1 and move on in your journey towards becoming a physician!
Posted on April 17th, 2017