Wynton M. Sims, MPH

Hometown: Clinton, MS

Name of Undergraduate Institution: University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB)

Major(s)/Minor(s) in College: BS in Chemistry; MPH in Health Behavior

Name of Medical School: University of California, San Francisco (UCSF)

Favorite Quote: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” – Romans 8:28

Contact Info: wynton.sims@ucsf.edu

Additional Links:
Twitter: @wmsims1

Where are you currently at in your career path and why did you decide to pursue this career path?

I am currently an MS1 at UCSF. Every day, I try to think back to my “why” to motivate me to get through the long days of medical school. I chose this path out of acknowledgement of the need for more representation in medicine and the vital role representation plays in reducing health inequities and providing equitable, accessible healthcare to the populations who need it most. If I can play a small role in bridging this ever-widening health equity chasm, then I will consider my career a great success. I aim to do this through providing culturally-competent, compassionate care to my patients, while also investigating topics of equity and community health from a systems-level view. Ultimately, I want to leave a lasting impact on both individuals and populations, treating not just the individual patient, but also the systems and structures that serve as barriers to optimal health.

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 freshman year of college, I would tell myself to trust the process and enjoy each and every step of the journey to the fullest extent. I would tell myself to only do things that I am passionate about. Most importantly, I would tell myself to do things that contribute to my “why medicine” in order to ultimately form a cohesive narrative for when I apply to medical school.

What is your favorite thing about your medical school?

My favorite thing about medical school is the opportunity to learn information that will one day be applicable to real patients. Everything we are learning, no matter how strenuous or daunting, will one day be used to help someone, and that realization is what ultimately fuels me.

Do you have another professional degree? If so, how has it impacted you?

I have an MPH in health behavior. My hope is that this degree will inform my clinical practice and allow me to apply a community health/systems-level lens to every single patient that I encounter. I never want to assess a patient without considering the socio-structural context in which they exist and how that affects the health-related decisions they make and their current medical presentation.

What advice would you give to someone getting ready to start their application process to medical schools?

DO NOT be scared to shoot your shot at “reach schools!” You truly never know what will happen with such an enigmatic process. It never hurts to send in an application, no matter how competitive you think you are or have been told you are. Apply where YOU want to go and think you would most be able to thrive.

Did you take some time off before medical school? If so, what did you do during that time?

I took 1 gap year before medical school, during which I finished my MPH and interviewed for medical school. I also worked as a Soccer Shots coach, which consisted of teaching 2-9 year olds about soccer. Other than that, I spent all the time I could hanging out with friends and family as well as traveling/relaxing.

What extra-curricular activities are you involved in at your school?

I am the Co-President of the UCSF SNMA chapter as well as one of the SNMA recruitment chairs/SNMA affinity rep for the Admissions Advisory Committee. Additionally, I am a member of the UCSF Black Men in Medicine planning committee and a mentor for a program called Bridging Admissions.

Who are some of your favorite musicians? Favorite books? Shows? Movies?

I love oldies like Anita Baker, Luther Vandross, Teena Marie, and Regina Belle. I also love the new generation of Neo-Soul artists like H.E.R., Nao, Kehlani, and Jhene Aiko, among many others.

Thanks a ton for sharing with us what brought you into medicine and for providing us with some of your helpful pieces of advice Wynton! Your public health perspective is vital to the field of medicine and kudos to you for already doing awesome work as a medical student! Best of luck as you continue to power through your medical education and beyond!

Health Career Spotlights Home Page

Posted on March 1st, 2021