Hometown: Brooklyn, NY (Ocala, FL is home now)
Name of Undergraduate Institution(s): University of Florida, College of Central Florida
Major(s)/Minor(s) in College: Pre-Professional Botany
Name of Medical School: Florida State University College of Medicine
“God helps those who help themselves.”
“Emancipate yourself from mental slavery.”
Contact Info: firstname.lastname@example.org
Where are you currently at in your career path and why did you decide to pursue this career path?
I am a second-year medical student. I went without health insurance my entire life until medical school and was blessed enough to not have any serious health issues. My life was full of other adversities, but I could always give thanks to God for life and health and strength. Somehow this fact made it apparent that I was going to be a physician. It was my purpose. Furthermore, I witnessed more than one of my family members face health issues, one of which I was their primary health caregiver until they passed. The experiences I had while I was in this position as well as their passing, further confirmed my purpose.
If you could go back and have a chat with your naïve college freshman self, what would you tell her?
“Take your time and trust God’s purpose for you.” I faced unnecessary changes trying to adhere to someone else’s timeline. I was always disciplined and handled a lot on my plate, but I struggled with patience. Though all my experiences have shaped me and helped me to get where I am now, I would definitely tell myself to be more patient.
What advice would you give to someone looking to pursue a similar path as yours?
Find a good mentor! Do not be afraid to reach out to someone that has went down the same path or is currently. Also, it may sound cliché, but “shoot for the stars.” Your only limitation is the one you set on yourself. Think of the highest goal you can achieve and go after it with full force.
Do you have another professional degree? If so, how has it impacted you?
I have a Master of Science in Biomedical Sciences. My master’s degree was a year and had the stipulation of passing all classes (some of which were MD classes) with an 80% and completing a research project. I had never in my life been pushed so hard, but completing that program showed me that I also never knew my full potential. I now welcome challenge with even wider open arms.
What advice would you give to someone getting ready to start their application process to medical schools?
Start early and do not be afraid to be honest about your experiences. Your experiences are unique to you and there is a school out there looking for you.
Did you take some time off before medical school? If so, what did you do during that time?
Yes, I took a year and a half off while I studied for my MCAT and waited to apply for the next cycle. During that time, I worked at a nursing care facility as a receptionist and occasionally floated to different departments like medical records, admissions, and activities to learn the ins and outs of the facility. I also shadowed a Family physician with whom I became so close with that he voluntarily wrote me a genuine and extremely supportive character letter of recommendation.
Do you have any passions outside of school? If so, what are they?
I absolutely love cooking! I have been cooking authentic Jamaican dishes since I was 12, and along the way picked up other cuisines as well. It is crazy, but I think I get the most joy out of hosting dinner parties with my friends.
What do you like to do for fun?
I love Karaoke, dancing, and having game night with my friends.
What do you do to get through the stressful nature of professional school?
I make time for myself and the things that I like to do. You have to take care of yourself first.
What extra-curricular activities are you involved in at your school?
I am the president of our SNMA chapter. I am involved in various organizations, including LMSA, CMA, and FMIG. I am a Family Medical Scholar and I am a founder of our White Coats for Black Lives chapter.
What were some of your involvements in college? Have those involvements helped you in any way in medical school?
I was an officer in a big service organization called “Heal the World (HTW)” which involved coordinating events and raising money for several causes in the local community as well as nationally. Being involved with HTW helped me in staying involved with the community and engaging in various service endeavors that interested me. I believe that my position in HTW helped convey my passion for service when I was applying for medical school. Additionally, the position helped build my leadership and teamwork skills that made it possible for me to hold the positions that I hold now and may hold in the future. I also did some bench research when I was in undergrad which introduced me to another side of medicine. I am not sure how this has helped me now, but I do believe that it is important to see what you are doing from all angles if possible.
Who are some of your favorite musicians? Favorite books? Shows? Movies?
I am a movie fanatic, so I cannot decide. Music is hard as well, but here are a few: Bob Marley, Jah Cure, J. Cole, Biggie, Tamia, and basically all 90’s R&B. Shows: How To Get Away With Murder, Flash, Blackish, New Girl, Arrow. Unfortunately, I have not had the time to read a good book lately.
Thank you for your wise words and for sharing a bit about yourself Zedeena! It is greatly appreciated! And I 110% agree with what you said about our only limitations being the ones we set for ourselves! Keep on doing great things!
Posted on February 20th, 2017