On March 10, 2016, I received my acceptance letter into medical school. I did not know whether scream, pray, or dance. A mixture of emotions ran through my mind as I rushed to call my mom (AKA my biggest supporter!) and tell her the great news. I remember saying, “Mommy I got into medical school”. After talking to her, I began to reflect on the obstacles, triumphs, lessons, and mentors I encountered in order to help me reach this pivotal moment in my life. It has definitely been a journey that required lots of patience, perseverance, and prayer.
All of our journeys to achieving acceptance into medical school or careers in health care are unique and specific to each individual. I did not understand the meaning of those words until I was rejected from medical school during the 2014 application cycle. I felt frustrated, lost, and confused. When the rejection letters started pouring into my email I had to be honest with myself. I rushed my application, made an 18 on the old MCAT, and did not have any work/clinical experience in health care. As much as it hurt to get rejected I was not mature or prepared enough to enter a medical school program. The rejection turned out to a blessing in disguise.
Since the application cycle ended early for me, I had to dust myself off and continue to persevere. In order to prepare myself to re-apply I focused on the weak areas in my primary application. I enrolled in a Nurse Aide course at a local community college. After completing the course, I became certified and started working as a CNA home health care agency. Through the home health care agency, I met a fellow CNA who was studying organic chemistry and mentioned to me that she was in the Masters of Physiology Program at North Carolina State. At the time I was considering going back to school to prepare myself for the new upcoming MCAT. Although I applied late, I very fortunate to be admitted into this master’s program.
After completion of my first year in my graduate program I was ready to apply to medical school for the second time around. While working, I took the summer to prepare for the MCAT. In order to prepare myself for the MCAT I enrolled in an MCAT preparatory course, which lead to a significant improvement in my score. Even though it was expensive, it was a great investment for my future!
God truly works in mysterious ways. During that summer, I remember talking to my mom about how I was having difficulty finding a medical doctor to shadow or someone who could give me some direction with applying to medical school. My church was having a health fair in which my mom attended. There were various medical professionals giving different discussions to the senior citizens of the church. My mom walked up to a medical doctor, Dr. Daniel, and when he learned she had a pre-medical son, he told her about DiverseMedicine.
After joining DiverseMedicine, I remember thinking to myself; these health care professionals and my fellow premedical students are extremely supportive, inspiring, and encouraging! This was something that I had never experience before. Through DiverseMedicine I was even able to shadow Dr. Cassandra Brady, which was an amazing and extremely educating experience. DiverseMedicine has made an impactful and positive influence on my life. I am thankful for the advice and support I have received from the DiverseMedicine Community. It feels amazing to know that I will be starting medical school in the fall. My advice to other premedical students is to never give up on your dream! There will be some obstacles followed by triumphs, but the entire time, you must remember that your journey is unique and special to you! “All of our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them” – Walt Disney.
Image credit: http://www.carpentersplace.org/celebrate-success-luncheon/