1. Tell us about yourself. Hello! I’m a senior at the University of Arkansas majoring in Biology. I came to Arkansas as a child and have been here ever since! I like to binge watch Netflix, go to different coffee ships and go hiking often!
2. Who was your favorite teacher in school and how did he or she impact you? My favorite teacher has to be my Bioethics professor Warren Herold. Professor Herold had the unusual rule of no phones and/or laptops out. That meant the 30 of us present were forced to listen to him, and honestly I ‘m so glad he did. Professor Herold taught bioethics in a way that was broadly applicable but very nuanced at the same time.
3. When did you first decide you wanted to become a doctor and why? As a child, it was apparent to me the privileged life I lived as I visited my grandparents in their rural village in India. Every day I played with kids who came from mud and thatched houses. Kids my age worked in the farm and others went to the city as child laborers to support their family. One day, one of my friends didn’t meet me at the cricket field like we’d planned. On inquiry, we found out that he was bedridden with a fever and his parents couldn’t afford a doctor. There was no health center in the village. Hearing this, my parents and I rushed over. I saw them lay him down in the back of the mud house. Noticing his body shaking uncontrollably, my parents gave him some Tylenol to bring his fever down. Of course, as a child, I didn’t understand how the Tylenol brought the fever down but that instantly sparked my interest in medicine.
4. What area of medicine are you interested in? I want to be a primary care physician after medical school. Every trip to India, my grandfather would take me to his doctor friend that ran a primary health care clinic in a nearby rural town. It was that doctor who taught me how to use a stethoscope, allowed me to watch his diagnosis of patients and explained to me the art of medical practice. Watching the pain and suffering of children in rural villages and interaction with my grandpa’s doctor friend ignited my passion to be in medicine and to serve those communities that are underprivileged and underrepresented.
5. What’s the coolest experience you’ve had so far on your premedical journey? My coolest experience in my pre-medical journey is definitely being able to 3-D print different objects! I currently with the Cardiovascular Biomechanics Lab on campus, and very frequently do I have to use SolidWorks and MATLAB to help design the equipment needed. So being able to design something and then just click a button to make it was so cool!
6. What is your favorite book? I’m a total geek so I don’t have just one favorite book, but I have to go cliché and say the Harry Potter series.
7. Tell us one thing interesting about you that most people don’t know. I was actually a “priest-in training” at one point in my life! I attended a religious and service oriented boarding school in India, and one time I was approached asking if I wanted to enter finish that program. Unfortunately, a year later I moved back to the U.S., but it was still an amazing spiritual experience.
8. If you couldn’t be a doctor, what would you want to do?
Definitely somewhere in the public health field. I was very involved in policy debate throughout high school and college and working the public health topic showed me the many gaps within the state’s and nation’s healthcare system. Being in public health would allow me to be a part of the change and allow me an inside perspective into the failures and success of public health policy.
9. What has been your biggest obstacle as a premed and how did you (or are you) overcome it?
My biggest obstacle has honestly been myself. Being a pre-medical student is very hard and being surrounded by other pre-medical students who are doing so much better than you is even harder. There were many times I thought someone had to be super smart and perfect to be a “Pre-Med”, but I couldn’t have been farther from the truth. It’s my senior year now, and as I’ve been applying to medical schools, I’ve talked to so many other applicants who’re in similar situations. Everyone sees the perfect, ideal self they could be and that puts a lot of emotional and mental pressure on students. The only thing you can do is to calm yourself down, focus on the things that need to be done and find an amazing support group. For me it’s my best friends I’ve known in high school and in college. Without their support and my self-realization that I’m not in this alone, I wouldn’t have been able to handle the life of pre-med student.
10. What do you like most about Diverse Medicine?
I like Diverse Medicine because it’s actually one of a kind. I don’t know of any other site or organization online that is actively there to support pre-medical students. Like literally students are able to connect with different MD’s, PhD’s and various students all over the country to share their experiences and get advice from people who know the actual process very well.
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