1) Tell us a little bit about yourself: Hello everyone, I am Kevin and I am a Biology pre-med major at the College of Charleston. I chose to attend the College of Charleston because of the vibrant atmosphere of the city, as well as wanting a new change from the suburban area in which I was raised in. The College also has decent class sizes, and I enjoy interacting with my professors and engaging in tough classes such as organic chemistry where my questions were able to be answered efficiently. I enjoy being active by playing basketball, swimming, and running. I also enjoy watching movies (specifically horror), spending time with my friends, and reading. I decided I wanted to be a physician because I like the idea of helping patients cope with the stress their conditions may enhance. Due to health disparities, a lot of epigenetic factors influence disease in people of certain ethnicities, which is tough because a lot of these people typically live a healthy lifestyle. Therefore, my duty as a physician is to train people to learn more about their conditions and lessen the stress of having a specific condition.
2) Who was your favorite teacher in school and how did he or she impact you? My favorite teacher in high school was my honors anatomy and physiology teacher. I participated in this class with my brother, so I was able to engage in the class as a student and a mentor towards my brother so we could finish the class successfully. My teacher, Mrs. Banks, impacted me by influencing me to participate in the Medical Society at our high school. Engaging with this society was a delightful experience because it immersed us naïve students of medicine to a new learning field by introducing us to infectious diseases, volunteer work, stethoscope and blood pressure usage, and other aspects of medicine. I was also performing well in her course because of my enjoyment in learning about physiological mechanisms, and she pulled me out of class just to inform of me of her interest in wanting me to pursue medicine. It was a true joy hearing this from her, and this is how she impacted me to pursue medicine.
3) When did you first decide you wanted to become a doctor and why? I first decided I wanted to become a doctor while I was participating in the SCRUBS program, which stands for “students can use bedside skills.” Participating in this program exposed me to a variety of patients in the hospital and being able to process the way doctors interact with patients motivated me to have a mindset that I can be a motivator and caretaker for patients of all ages. I also witnessed a heart transplant during my research experience at MUSC, and that experience awakened a sense of discipline since my mom’s side of the family has a family history of heart problems. Therefore, I can utilize what I learned in the hospital and lab to advance my knowledge about novel therapeutic interventions for patients with heart disease.
4) What area of medicine are you interested in? I am interested in either becoming a family medicine physician or a hospitalist. I realized that since I am amiable towards my peers, professors, and professionals, I would be more comfortable conversating with patients in a calmer environment. Being able to sit down with a patient and talk them through their condition/symptoms with a proper, soothing, and intelligent voice would enhance my leadership qualities which I prefer to maintain in my own office.
5) What’s the coolest experience you’ve had so far on your premedical journey?The coolest experience I’ve had during my premedical journey would be using graduate level lab equipment while conducting cardiovascular research at the Medical University of South Carolina. I was able to use a microscope and the IonOptix software to analyze calcium and sarcomere transients in cardiomyocytes of mice. Being able to see the cardiomyocytes contracting amazed me, and further made me more interested in the physiological aspects of medicine.
6) What is your favorite book? My favorite book is Stephen King’s Nightmares and Dreamscapes. This book contains short stories combined into one book, and the nightmarish and suspenseful qualities of the book intrigued me to read the entire book. Stephen King really made me feel like I was in every single one of his stories and reading about how these people are influenced by the supernatural was very mind-boggling.
7) Tell us one interesting thing about you that most people don’t know. One interesting thing about me that most people don’t know is that I’ve always either wanted to act in a movie or write a movie. I love horror stories because they are so suspenseful, and I began to write a story, but I was never able to think fully about the narrative of my story. Hopefully, I will be able to finish writing this story in the future.
8) If you couldn’t be a doctor, what would you want to do? I would want to be an actor or director, but since that requires connections at a young age, I would pursue graduate school in biology and become a professor at a University or an AP biology teacher at a high school. If I were to become a biology teacher at a high school, I would also want to become an assistant swim coach because I used to be passionate about swimming when I was a younger child and would want to coach high school swimmers.
9) What has been your biggest obstacle as a premed and how did you (or are you) overcome it? The biggest obstacle as a premed was being able to perform like a graduate level student during my internship at MUSC. I was unfamiliar with research techniques such as making cell cultures, immunostaining, behavioral analysis, and using the microscope to analyze cardiomyocytes. I was also unfamiliar with cardiovascular biology. Therefore, I was provided a lot of papers about protein misfolding and how protein misfolding and calcium dyshomeostasis can influence disease processes within the cardiovascular system, and I had to spend a lot of time in the library in order to increase my knowledge about graduate level research. I also had to spend a lot of time with lab equipment, which I had to master so I could retrieve data for my research project.
10) What do you like most about Diverse Medicine? I like that I can share my experiences and achievements with everyone who participates in Diverse Medicine. I enjoy writing about these experiences because I can provide a lot of detail to people who are in different areas of the world. Diverse Medicine can help me to create connections with people who are also interested in medicine, and hopefully I will be able to get the chance to talk to recruiters.
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