1. Tell us a little bit about yourself . Hey! My name is Egypt Vlymen-Williams, I’m from Westchester, NY. I’m what New Yorkers call a “sophisticated ratchet” in that 95% of the time I’m a reserved, upstanding and professional individual. But if you catch me at the right time & place, you’ll see me turning up to trap music or dancing around to some dancehall/soca music! My hobbies include yoga & lifting weights. Integrating fitness into my life gives me a major confidence boost by helping me understand it’s ok to invest in myself. My life lessons taught me if you don’t love yourself, no one will do it for you! My vision is to inspire others to be the best version of themselves. I do this by continuing to grow in my own journey, hoping I can motivate others to step up their game. I believe my purpose is to be a blessing to everyone I possibly can, both in medicine & my personal life.
2. Who was your favorite teacher in school & how did he or she impact you? I actually have 3 professors that have had a huge impact on me & I can’t choose which one is my favorite. All 3 are my exercise science professors at Mercy College. First up is Dr. Mel. She is the director of the exercise science program and she’s the first professor I’ve had who I felt really cared about her students. She views us as her kids! She wants us all to succeed and it shows in how she interacts with us. I call her Mama Mel! Next up is Dr. Williams. She has so much swag! The first class I had with her I thought she was so cool. Not only that, but I’ve seen her lift weights and she’s a beast! I love interacting with her outside the classroom because she’s so fun but also very wise. She has been a guiding figure these past few years and I appreciate the gems of advice she continues to give. Last but not least is Dr. Davitt. I love the fact that he comes in every class with a huge smile on his face. He’s super competitive, he talks sooo much smack (he backs it up most of the time). He cracks jokes & he makes me laugh pretty much every time I have class with him. He’s also like a walking encyclopedia in that he’s always telling us about interesting research he’s learned or is a part of. All three professors are amazing in their own way but the one common thread is how their passion pours out in the classroom. I can’t emphasize enough how honored I feel to be a part of this program.
3. When did you first decide you wanted to become a doctor and why? I believe I was 13 or 14 years old. My sister had a severe asthma attack and had to go to the hospital. In my mind, those doctors saved her life and I just knew that’s what I wanted to do. If I couldn’t be a superhero then being a doctor was the next best option!
4. What area of medicine are you interested in? I’d like to use my knowledge in exercise science to specialize in either sports medicine or orthopedics.
5. What’s the coolest experience you’ve had on your premedical journey? I’m a personal trainer and I had the opportunity to train a doctor while I was working at Equinox. He was sooo funny. I looked forward to training him because every session he had me cracking me up! It was cool because it was one of the first times I interacted with a doctor that I didn’t feel was stiff or arrogant. I was able to shadow him for a day and he was the same with his patients as he was with me. He knew when to be serious but he made all his patients laugh. I hope to embody his fun and loving personality as a future physician.
6. What is your favorite book? Hands down, my favorite book is “Grit” by Angela Duckworth. She talks about the difference between talent and effort. Talent only takes you so far, it’s the hard work that gets you to the finish line! This book is a pick-me-up to build mental fortitude. I read it frequently whenever I want to work on my mindset which reminds me it might be time to read it again!
7. Tell us one thing about you most people don’t know. I’m not Egyptian even though I’m named after the country. I’m painfully shy at times but I’m working on coming out of my shell. I love Caribbean culture, I don’t know why I have no Caribbean background in my family. I did mixed martial arts for 2 years and loved it!
8. If you couldn’t be a doctor, what would you want to do? Me? Not be doctor? Not happening.
9. What has been your biggest obstacle as a premed and how did you or are you overcoming it? Unfortunately, I am my worst enemy. After graduating from Wesleyan University with a trash GPA, I didn’t believe I was smart enough to become a doctor. I made every excuse in the book as to why I shouldn’t pursue medicine. “It’s too expensive, I’ll never pay off my student loans, what about malpractice insurance, I’ll be in school forever.” Blah, Blah, Blah. At some point, it just clicked I can’t live my life with regrets. Now I’m back in school, ready to prove myself I am capable of accomplishing my dream. It’s all about my mindset!
10. What do you like most about Pre-Med STAR? I love the guidance! I love the networking! Pre-Med STAR is the type of platform that will be the new wave in pre-med advising! I can’t wait to contribute!
Are you a premed? Join Diverse Medicine now. It's free!