Preparations.

Umm, okay……well……not much has changed in my life since my last post.

Your boy is still here making the most of the free time that has been afforded to him during this flex block. 😜

I flew back from Boston last Tuesday and have been hanging around both Chapel Hill and Winston since then. I’ve also been continuing to prepare myself as well as my region for the SNMA’s Annual Medical Education Conference, which is taking place this week in Philly! Definitely excited about that, especially since it will be my last AMEC as a medical student. πŸ˜₯Β I’m sure I’ll have plenty to say about my experience at the conference next week, so stay tuned for that post!

Although I don’t have much to update you with today, I do have a couple of things that are worth mentioning in this post. First off, my girlfriend and I did some apartment shopping yesterday in the Chapel Hill/Durham area and ended up being impressed by a couple of great places on our short list of complexes to visit. It was invigorating to explore new locations and to imagine what it would be like living in a brand-new community after having spent several years in Winston. It was also just as thrilling to consider the fact that I will now be in close proximity to my significant other after having spent the past four years in separate cities! πŸ˜„

What I’ll NOT be looking forward to is the actual process of moving all our stuff into a new apartment. God, I HATE moving. This is probably part of the reason as to why I don’t own a lot of things lol. I guess I just figured that the less I own, the less I’ll have to move. You may think that sounds stupid, but I don’t really care. I stand by my logic! 😀

The other thing I would like to mention is that I got the opportunity to be featured on a podcast a couple days ago! The podcast, Melan-In-White Coats, is one that was started by three medical students who wanted to use their unique platform to share their experiences as minority medical students with their audience while also discussing a variety of topics with invited guests on the podcast. On the episode that I was featured on, the host and I talked about numerous things, those of which included: sustaining a relationship while in medical school, the importance of giving back to the community, the growth of my blog, the scholarship that I just recently launched, my ambitions and expectations in the field of Pediatrics, and more! We had a great time chatting with one another as the time flew by, and we ended up inspiring one another to further expand our own respective platforms! Speaking on a podcast for the first time was a humbling experience, and I’m looking forward to sharing the episode with you all once it is officially up and running! πŸ™ŒπŸΏ

That’s all I really have to say today. Short and sweet.

I hope that you have a delightful week! And to those of you who celebrate it, have an amazing Palm Sunday!

“You can have anything you want if you are willing to give up the belief that you can’t have it.” – Dr. Robert Anthony

– Black Man, M.D.

Excursions, Freedom, & Inspiration

Man, I can’t believe that I’m already at the halfway point of my flex block. I only have another two weeks of living in absolute freedom until I go back to school to start Intern Boot Camp, a two-week pre-orientation program that the school organizes for the graduating fourth-years that is full of various sessions designed to help prepare us for the first few days of residency. (If you’ve been keeping up with my posts as of late, you may have just had some serious dΓ©jΓ  vuΒ πŸ˜‚)

I’ve really been able to appreciate all the freedom I’ve had these past couple of weeks, even with all the work that I have been doing in my extra-curricular leadership positions. I even went ahead and made a trip to Boston this past weekend to visit some people, as well as to really take in and appreciate the city that I was born in. Boston has so much history man, it’s incredible. I didn’t know there was an African-American museum up here, so of course I had to go and check that out. I also had a pleasant walk in the Boston Common and the Boston Public Garden, although it was a bit chillier than I would have liked. (It has warmed up quite a bit since I first got here though 😊) And you already know that I had to go and check out what the nightlife in Boston had to offer lol. Overall,Β I’ve had a great time so far here (even with the one night it unexpectedly sleeted πŸ™„) and I plan to continue enjoying my trip up until I leave from here on Tuesday morning!

After I return from Boston, it’ll only be about a week before I find myself in a plane again headed to Philly for the SNMA’s Annual Medical Education Conference. Yup, the conference is FINALLY about to happen! I already knew it was going to be an amazing experience simply based off of my past experiences at AMEC…but now that we’ve officially reached capacity for the conference as of last week, I am absolutely certain that it is about to be LIT LIT!! I’ll definitely be crazy busy during the conference, but that won’t stop me from having a great time! I’m very excited about being able to enjoy this experience for the third time in a row, especially since I’ll be actively participating in a leadership role this time around. There was so much work and time that was put into making this conference a reality, so it will be awesome to see what the final product ends up looking like! πŸ™ŒπŸΏ

Outside of hanging out with my girlfriend and watching the insanity of March Madness (I unfortunately ended up not winning any of the bracket competitions I was in, thanks to UVA’s lucky run), not much else has happened this past week.

Actually, scratch that.

I did do something that was quite exciting.

I FINALLY launchedΒ The Desire To Inspire Scholarship!!Β 

happy george lopez GIF by Nick At Nite

I had been waiting soooo long to officially launch this scholarship….like, it was something that I couldn’t stop thinking about ever since the idea was first conceived at some point during my first year of medical school. Even before then, I had developed a burning desire to create and fund scholarships for students, especially after I received the scholarship that ultimately allowed me to attend the University of Miami. (Shoutout to the Hammond Scholarship! ✊🏿) I sincerely believe that everyone should have access to obtaining a quality education and that the lack of finances should NOT serve as a barrier to securing an education. There are just so many intelligent people out there with such amazing potential who simply deserve to be educated in a way that gives them the best chance of turning their dreams into reality.

I’m really hyped that, after a ton of preparation and fundraising, this scholarship idea that I’ve been mulling over for years has finally been transformed into a reality! I’ve already done this many times, but I want to send a HUGE THANKS again to all of you who have played a part in making this scholarship a reality! This definitely could not have happened without your support!!! πŸ™πŸΏπŸ™πŸΏπŸ™πŸΏ

And with that, I’ll end here. Thanks for reading!

I hope that you have a remarkable week!

“Successful people have fear, successful people have doubts, and successful people have worries. They just don’t let these feelings stop them.” – T. Harv Eker

– Black Man, M.D.

Marching Into Opportunity

I don’t know about you, but I was a bit shocked when I woke up this morning and realized that today was the last day in March. Like, WHAT?!?

Los Angeles Rams Wow GIF by Gatorade

It feels like JUST yesterday that I woke up and blasted Future’s “March Madness” on my speakers on the morning of March 1st! (Yeah I’m lame, so what? Fight me 😀)

While the month has flown by quite fast, I have been intentional in taking the time to appreciate the easygoing and exciting vibes all around me throughout the month. From rotating through my informative, yet chill Radiology clerkship to experiencing Match Week and transitioning into my second flex block, I haven’t really had much reason to stress about academics as of late. Also with March Madness going on, I’ve had such a great time watching the games and either celebrating the survival of some of my brackets or bemoaning one of my bad picks. (UNC’s recent loss definitely screwed up a few of my brackets πŸ˜…)

Honestly, I would be chillin’ even more if I wasn’t working in the position of Interim Regional Director for my region of the SNMA. I’m not going to lie, the constant work that I’ve had to perform in this position has taken up quite a chunk of my free time and has kept me busier than I had envisioned being during this time in my fourth year, especially since the Annual Medical Education Conference is coming up in a few weeks. And let’s not forget that I still have to fulfill my duties as one of the External Affairs National Committee Co-Chairs, so that has been keeping me busy too. πŸ˜…Β Even though I’ve only served as Regional Director for a little over a month now and didn’t really have much onboarding at all when I took on the position, I think that my team and I have done some good work so far in pulling the chapters in the region together, effectively communicating with them so that everyone was on the same page, and getting them prepared for the conference. I really have to emphasize how crucial the people helping me have been in making my life easier as Regional Director. Shoutout to all of them, because your boy would currently be incredibly lost in this role without each of them! Can’t wait to see them all at the conference so I can thank them in person!

This past week, I spent a good amount of time taking advantage of some opportunities that had been afforded to me. I attended a community town hall meeting hosted by the Office of Cancer Health Equity, where we had a discussion about the findings of a community assessment that was done in East Winston concerning cancer care for African-Americans. While I was there, I got the chance to listen to what the East Winston community thought about the healthcare systems present in the city and to help brainstorm solutions to the issues that people in that community are facing. It was enlightening to be able to communicate directly with the community and it reminded me of all the community work I participated in during my Immigrant Health/Public Health rotation. Engaging in these community experiences has provided me a framework that I can use in the future as I attempt to impact my future community as a physician in effective and meaningful ways.

In addition to attending the East Winston community town hall meeting, I got the chance to listen to Dr. Bonnie Mason, the founder of Nth Dimensions, speak at a noon conference that revolved around mentorship for underrepresented minority residents at Wake Forest. She gave an engaging and memorable talk on mentorship and shared with us some very practical advice that we can use during our residency years and throughout life in general. I then got the chance to talk with her as well as with some other minority physicians in the community at a dinner later on that evening, where two prominent physicians in the city (Dr. Lawrence Hopkins & Dr. Charlie Kennedy) were honored. The URM resident mentorship program at Wake Forest was offically named after them at the dinner, and they also had the day of March 27th named in their honor by the mayor of the city of Winston-Salem! It was a wonderful dinner that showed me the incredible impact that physicians can have in their respective communities. I hope to have a similar level of impact in the communities that I serve in the future!

On that positive note, I’ll go ahead and wrap up this post!

I hope that your week is an excellent one! 😁

“Trust yourself. Create the kind of self that you will be happy to live with all your life. Make the most of yourself by fanning the tiny, inner sparks of possibility into flames of achievement.” – Golda Meir

– Black Man, M.D.

P.S. – I watched “Us” last Sunday and it was such a great movie! Had my mind all messed up for the next day or two though…I definitely recommend watching it if you haven’t already!!

Life After Match Day

I find it so funny how much everything changes after Match Day is over. As you know, my whole fourth year literally revolved around one thing and one thing only:

Where was I going to match?

With the help and guidance of others, I spent the vast majority of the year working tirelessly to figure out the answer to that question. I powered through both parts of Step 2, met with multiple advisors and mentors to talk about my future, knocked out my rotations one-by-one, carefully selected which residency programs I wanted to apply to, completed and submitted my ERAS application, went on eleven interviews, created and submitted my rank list, learned that I matched into a program on the Monday of Match Week and FINALLY received the answer to that burning question on Match Day!Β πŸ™ŒπŸΏπŸ™πŸΏ

Now that I know where I’m going to be spending my first few years as an M.D., there’s not really much more for me to do as a fourth-year medical student. This is further solidified by the fact that I just completed the last day of my final clinical rotation this past Friday! (TURN UHHHH!!!) My time is now being primarily spent on getting through the necessary paperwork for residency (You should have seen all the paperwork I was sent just this past week; UNC ain’t messing around πŸ˜…), looking for a place to live within the Research Triangle, getting my finances together, preparing for graduation, getting ready for the trips that I’ll be taking in the next few weeks, taking care of SNMA business, doing some blogwork, and making sure that I take the time to chill out, relax and enjoy this low-stress period of time that I had been looking forward to for a very long time. As you can see, life after Match Day so far has been busy, yet splendid. πŸ˜„

Some of y’all may be thinking, “Wait what? Last day of his final clinical rotation? It’s only March! What the heck is he going to be doing until graduation??” Well, like I’ve said in previous posts, I set my schedule up in a way that would allow me to have a month of free time at the end of the year. In other words, I strategically put my second flex block at the end of the year lol. Sooooo yeaaahhh, I’m going to be coastin’ for the next few weeks up until Intern Boot Camp, a two-week pre-orientation program that the school organizes for the graduating fourth-years that has a variety of sessions designed to help prepare us for the first few days of residency. Life is going to be great during this free block, you’ll see πŸ˜‰.

One more thing before I end this relatively short post. I spent yesterday morning competing in the 6th Annual MACHE Bowl, where my interdisciplinary team and I competed against two other interdisciplinary teams in working to solve a case that was tied into the opioid epidemic and health disparities. We competed in two separate rounds in front of a live audience and judges. While my team didn’t get first place, we were able to appreciate the unique experience that was afforded to us by this competition and we learned a lot from one another in the weeks leading up to the event. Plus, we still got paid and were given some extra goodies just for participating. 😏

Alright that’s it for today! Now go on and make this week an exceptional one!

And keep having fun watching the insanity of March Madness!! πŸ€πŸ€πŸ€

“When you know what you want, and want it bad enough, you will find a way to get it.” – Jim Rohn

– Black Man, M.D.