I’ll admit it. I was not the kid who knew she wanted to be a doctor in preschool. I was excited to be anything really: an artist, a ballerina, a graphic designer, a journalist, an architect.
I was and still am a person who is excited about life and the chance to do something meaningful in the world for my fellow humans. Learning, sharing, and caring have always been my passions, and some suggested as I was growing up that medicine might be the field for me. (it helped that both my parents are doctors)
I launched into undergrad at as a Biology major with a Pre-Med concentration, but quickly switched to Psychology with minors in Biology and Biochemistry. I wanted to cover all the bases and do all the things. I loved all three areas and how well they complemented one another (…yes, I am an ultra-nerd).
My junior year, I had the chance to shadow a physician internationally and attend a mission trip domestically. The combination made medicine click. I knew what I wanted to do with my life!! (theoretically)
But then reality set in: my MCAT score was abysmal. TWICE. I would not be applying to medical school with all my classmates. I would not pass Go and collect $200. It sucked. There were some tears shed.
However, every setback is a chance to comeback. Most people were very supportive of my desire to still try and become a doctor. Some suggested alternatives… PA, RN, genetic counseling… even I considered alternatives like law school (um…no).
But I couldn’t let it go. And so, after some grief, I dusted myself off, got up, and looked around for what to do. I delved into research my senior year, applied to a dozen pre-med post-baccalaureate programs, and started studying for MCAT again. My supportive friends, family, mentors, and professors saw the potential doctor in me and never let me forget. I did not give up.
And the reward was great. In January, I passed my 3rd MCAT with flying colors. In June, I submitted my 1st AMCAS application. In two weeks, I graduate with my Masters. In one month, I begin service with AmeriCorps.
And theoretically, in 1 year, I will be in medical school.
One Year. AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!
So, to those of you who find yourself on the floor, overwhelmed, afraid, anxious, uncertain, I understand. I’ve been there, and I still find myself there all too often. Committing to become a physician is huge and I am just scratching the surface of how huge the commitment is. I don’t know or understand all of it yet, but I am certain of this:
You can do it.
It is a long road with a sacrifice and hard work, but it’s worth it. Take the bitter with the sweet! We haven’t made it yet, but we’re almost there.
Merry Christmas! I hope everyone has had a lovely day, whether or not you celebrate. To my Aussie and Kiwi friends, I hope you’re having a wonderful Boxing Day.
This is the final installment of the Family Woman. Thank you to everyone who’s been reading!
The Family Woman-Part 5
Holly couldn’t remember a thing about the drive home. She just knew that she needed to get there, needed to speak to her wife, share the great news that they’d be moving downtown, that she’d be starting a prestigious job. She burst into the front door, smiling ear to ear. Gail was in the kitchen, working on a puzzle with Felix and Jane.
“Gail!” the exuberant expression on Holly’s face was evident by her wife’s growing smile.
“What’s up, Nerd? Good day?” she asked as she placed a piece of the puzzle.
I really can’t express how distraught I am to hear that Elder Afeni has passed away. She has and properly never will be properly honored in American History as one of America’s unsung heroes. Every person born in America lives a better, more equitable life as a result of her and every Panther’s efforts during the Civil Rights Movement.
Enjoy exercising your right to gun ownership? It was the Panthers who tested the 2nd Amendment Rights to bare arms. Relieved your children have before and after-school programs to go while you’re at work - the Panthers are to thank. Want to push equal wages for equal effort? The Panthers were among the activists laying the groundwork for your message. Believe the media needs to be more balanced? Shocked to hear that prisons disproportionately imprison the poor and people of color? Believe capital punishment is outdated? Worry about your privacy and police harassment? Believe that every youth activist ought to have an elder to guide them? Think children are the future and family is the foundation of society? Want to know how a movement can be more inclusive of women? Working to end sexism? Want to know if there is life after gang involvement, drug abuse and domestic violence? Think alternative medicine should be more accessible and is great supplement or option to Western medicine? Want to know how Black, Hispanic, Native American and Asian people are connected and can work together? Want industrialism to slow down a bit and let the Earth heal? Support businesses owned by people of color and women? Wish Hip-Hop was more positive? Like wearing your hair natural? Think wearing the traditional garb of your ancestry is cool? Wish more people practiced the traditional religions of their Ancestors, no matter what color they are?
The Panthers, with Afeni there all along the way, worked through all these issues. Testing not only white institutional racism and governments, but themselves. The history books point out their faults, but very rarely point out their triumphs. Even today, their children are using what their parents taught them to change the world.
It doesn’t matter who you are. You owe something that you completely take for granted to Afeni and her comrades. Even you conservatives.
What are YOU doing to make the world a better place?
Day 69 - Calabash (Bottle Gourd) / Calebasse (Gourde) / Lagenaria Siceraria The bottle gourd, indigenous to Africa, is one of humankind’s first domesticated plants, providing food, medicine and a wide variety of utensils and musical instruments.