On December 26, 1994 an 8month-old baby girl had to be rushed to the hospital because of her uncontrollable coughing, wheezing and difficulty breathing. After many anxious hours of testing the diagnosis of pneumonia was only the beginning of an extensive medical journey for the baby. That baby was me, and throughout my childhood I endured a fair share of visits to doctor’s offices, urgent care centers, emergency rooms and even surgery due to my illnesses. As a young girl I felt like I was always sick and feared never living a normal, healthy life. However, these emotions never deterred me from things like learning to play piano, and participation in activities like dance, gymnastics and basketball. With proper health care and constant medical attention I’ve been able to lead a very healthy adult life. My extensive medical history is a true testament to my belief that leading a healthy life stems from adequate, compassionate and enthusiastic health care from the time of birth. My strong desire to become a physician has direct relation to my life story.
Where a lot of children were apprehensive about doctor’s visits I was usually overcome with fascination. I found myself inquisitive about the procedures and purposes of each medication. I developed a deep admiration for those doctors and gained a respect and appreciation for the profession. I dreamt of someday being in their shoes.
The doctors who treated me were passionate and dedicated, just as I am about accomplishing my career goals. This same passion and dedication lead me to my accomplishment of graduating from Fisk University with a Bachelor of Arts in Biology. While attending Fisk University my primary extracurricular activity was playing for the women’s basketball team. However, being a student athlete made it no easy task to graduate on time with the degree that I did.
Since the age of 10, I’ve committed much time and dedication to the sport basketball. My love for and participation in basketball has taught me many a lesson in sacrifice. In my junior year of college I learned the value of said lessons. Practices, workouts, traveling and everything else I had to commit to the sport were not balancing well with the commitment necessary to receive the grades I was capable of. After two and a half seasons, leaving the basketball team so that my primary focus could be my studies was a necessary decision.
My decision to end my career as a student athlete came with a greater price than simply abandoning a sport I loved. My athletic career was a major contribution in funding my ability to go to school alongside my academic performance. How could I place this financial hardship on my loved ones/support team? How would I now be able to afford my education? Questions like these made it difficult to make my decision any sooner than I did. My full scholarship relieved a major financial burden from my family in the presence of hardships like providing the best care possible for my paternal grandmother as the stages of her Alzheimer’s disease quickly advanced.
After making this gut-wrenching decision I was met with the opportunity to change majors for easier classes. To me, this meant giving up on what I’d already started and I simply couldn’t do that. Instead, I decided to persevere, finish what I started and make up for where I fell short. I also gained eligibility for work-study and took on a job in the biology lab to relieve some of the financial burden from my family. My sacrifice along with hard work paid off. Life experiences and tough decisions like this one have equipped me with the resilience to meet the challenges of my journey to medical school boldly.
Goals as a physician
My long-term goal is having my own practice, and with this practice I’d help and heal children in need like I once was. Another goal is to extend my medical services and expertise into underserved urban communities and make an impact on the reduction of prevalent health disparities. Also in these urban communities, like the one in which I was raised, I’d like to set an example for young minority children. A lot of times these children aren’t provided the motivation or confidence within themselves to take on a career path like the one I’ve chosen and see it through to success. As a physician I hope to be a beacon of light and inspiration for other children like my doctors and other mentors along my journey have been for me.
Any contributions made will go directly toward funding my preparation for acceptance to medical school. These preparations include:
· MCAT preparation with Mentoring in Medicine
· Test fees
· Class registration for improvement of my science GPA
· Medical School application fees
All contributions are needed no matter how grand or small. Thank you in advance for your support.
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