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“Never place all of your eggs into one basket.”. My caring mother engraved this quote into my brain throughout my childhood. It has had a trickling effect on my life and has caused me to become relentless in my quest of becoming a well-rounded individual. As a result, the experiences I have pursued during my life were not chosen as a utility for a future plan. Instead, they were deciphered based upon my interests in a wide range of human activity. Ironically, the various endeavours have refined one common interest. Medicine.
I was nine years old and in the middle of a football game when my skin began to itch uncontrollably. I remember feeling as if my skin was crawling. Completely distracted by the incessant itching, I removed myself from the game and immediately notified my coach of the uncomfortable feeling. Following the game, I had an appointment with an allergy & immunology specialist. The physician issued an allergy skin test and I immediately began immunotherapy allergy shots. The science behind my weekly injections left me in awe. At the time, I could not fathom how allergy shots contained enough allergens to stimulate my immune system slightly but not enough to cause an allergic reaction. I was astonished at how my doctor was manipulating the same harmful allergens to heal me. As years went by, my allergies had gotten significantly better but my interest in football continually dwindled. By middle school, I stopped competing in football in favor of a different sport, basketball. Through this new extracurricular activity, I learned skills that textbooks were incapable of teaching. Skills such as integrity, teamwork, leadership, and resilience were learned on the hardwood opposed to the classroom. Unfortunately, another health roadblock came about. My asthma symptoms had become more difficult to control as my basketball fervor increased. I did not allow this to deter my passion for playing the game. I fought asthma through the use of my inhaler and nebulizer. It was with the constant use of these two devices that I began to have feelings of being “normal” on the court. To this day, I am eternally grateful for my participation in athletics because it cultivated my interest in medicine.
Through my participation in sports I was certain that my future was in medicine, however, I was uncertain of what my ideal role on the healthcare team was. During my undergraduate studies, I persistently explored careers in health to enhance my knowledge of the medical field. After hundreds of hours of volunteering and shadowing different healthcare providers, I discovered the position that fit me best. Being a physician. The task of identifying the underlying causes of disease is what interested me most. A physician has the ability to do this as well as develop an individualized plan to promote a patients’ best health. Furthermore, this role entails the prospects of counseling patients in preventative medical techniques. To summarize my time spent shadowing a physician, I would say it was filled with unpredictable scenarios. The non-stop out of the box problem solving is what stood out most. This is the healthcare role that I was yearning for.
Author Jennifer Holloway once stated, “tragedy is a substance which can ignite the soul.”. Her words prove to be true as my interest in becoming a physician profoundly grew after my parents’ divorce. Like most children, I was devastated upon hearing the news. However, the event caused me to seek answers and grow as an individual through faith. While growing my faith, I had to mend the bridge between religion and my scientific passions. This was due to the underlying contradiction of the two. Science is founded on principles of evidence; validation is achieved once it is seen and proven to others. While religion is founded upon faith and being able to believe despite a lack of ground evidence. The equilibrium I have developed between both will allow me to become an excellent physician. This is due to physicians having to constantly balance the emotions of an individual’s humanity and the ailment in which they are caring for. In my personal life, I have found that the most effective physicians were those who were equally as perceptive and cognitive of my spirits as they were of my symptoms. Due to this, my desire to become a physician is not contradicted by my religious beliefs. Instead, my religious beliefs have served as confirmation and motivation to achieve my dream.
Every circumstance and experience that I have encountered since I was an asthmatic child with a passion for basketball has brought me to this decision. My parents’ divorce has made me more passionate about this profession and given me more clarification to why I will be successful. With my love of learning and helping others as well as the skill set I will gain from an MD program, I am certain that I will have the tools needed to become an exceptional physician. I am yearning to see how these opportunities will positively impact the lives of others.