I haven’t talked about my career aspirations on the blog yet, but if you've read the "about me" you would have seen that I am a student at Claflin University majoring in biology and psychology. My original post-graduation plans have changed throughout the last few months. Originally, I wanted to do a Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP). This program is a type of dual-degree program where I would earn a Doctor of Medicine (MD) and a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in my field of choice. After speaking with a physician who is a close friend of one of my professors, I've learned that there are other avenues I can take to do what I want to do, so I'm exploring options that aren't MD/PhD programs in hopes of finding a program (or programs) I can cater more to my research interests.
I've always known I wanted to practice medicine, but I fell in love with research when I came to Claflin the summer before my freshman year. When I realized how interested I was in research, I didn't want to stop so I started looking into how I could combine medicine and research into a career. I know without a doubt that’s what I want to do. I don't want to have to sacrifice one in order to have the other. I want to use the strengths of both of them to reinforce one another and positively impact the care my future patients, and patients everywhere, will receive. My career goal is to become a pediatric neurologist or psychiatrist and conduct research focusing on disparities in mental illness and neurodevelopmental conditions in minority communities.
I wanted to start this page for other people like me. I'm not a first-generation college student, but I am the first in my family to apply to medical school. I don’t personally know anyone who has graduated from college and went straight to medical school without taking a gap year or gap years. I also don't personally have any relatives or family friends who are medical doctors to guide me in this process. Yeah, I've been to conferences and internships and I've met people and I've reached out to people through social media, but it's not the same. Don't get me wrong, I'm grateful for those people and the conversations I've had, but it's not as personal of a connection as I would like. To be completely transparent, I feel like I'm flying blind. I know God's got me, but not knowing how the next couple of months are going to go for me is sending my anxiety THROUGH THE ROOF.
I debated starting this section of my website for a VERY long time. I put a lot of pressure on myself as is, and I looked as this as another form of pressure for a long time. I thought it would put more pressure on me to actually do well and get into a school, and it kinda does, but I'm gonna do it anyway. I already told y'all, I saw a need and I'm gonna get outta my own way and help address it. We can't be what we can't see, so I'm hoping this section of the website will help y'all see yourselves being successful in this process too.
I'm going to keep staying strong and doing my best, but I wanted to start this page for the people out there who feel like me. For those of us with big dreams that still doubt ourselves. For those of us who know we want to practice medicine, but aren't sure if or when we're going to get there. We can do this. We have to form a support system for ourselves and those like us. I hope you enjoy following me on my journey and I hope what I say can help you too. We've got this! We have to be what we need to see.
"If you never allow yourself to become the example, you are going to be the status quo." - Yvonne Orji