I was born and raised in Rochester, New York. My pursuit of a career in medicine is the result of a multitude of opportunities and experiences. One of my earliest experiences was right after 7th grade, when I was still a typical kid content to enjoy summers with friends playing soccer and tennis. My parents sent me to Purdue University to attend a summer Middle School Science program for students interested in science and to learn first-hand what college was all about. A year later, my parents opened my eyes to the wonders of biological science and medicine through a year-long Science and Technology Enrichment Program (STEP) offered at the University of Rochester's Medical School, geared towards minority students in the community. Even though I was somewhat reluctant at first, my parents were determined to give me all the opportunities that they were never privileged to have. STEP allowed me to participate in Problem Based Learning sessions, perform research in an Otolaryngology lab, as well as explore other aspects of medical school.
I attended Xavier University of Louisiana, which has an excellent track record for training future doctors. I majored in Biology, and fortuitously during my Freshman year, a summer internship recruiter on campus offered me an opportunity to participate in a Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship internship at the University of Rochester. That summer, I studied the effects of Frog Virus 3 (FV3) on immunocompromised Xenopus. I was also able to experience different aspects of the medical school curriculum and learn more about the biophysicosocial model, for which the U of R medical school is so famous, and to do clinical rotations in the Emergency Department.
While at Xavier I also experienced the worst natural disaster in American history, Hurricane Katrina, and saw first hand those affected by the collapse of the city's health care system. I volunteered and mentored students who did not have a school nurse and access to basic health care services, and who therefore went for days and weeks without basic medical treatment or medication. Even though I returned home for a semester, I went back to New Orleans and Xavier with a stronger dedication to pursue my dream of completing my college education and pursuing a career in medicine. I wanted to do all that I could to prevent a recurrence of such a fundamental breakdown in health care services.
In my free time, during summer and Christmas vacations, I continue to volunteer at Perinton Volunteer ambulance, helping technicians and paramedics help those who are vulnerable and in need of assistance, especially the elderly.
Together, all of these experiences have solidified my interest in medicine. Being a Rochester native I knew I always wanted to eventually come home. With a strong emphasis on patient care through the biopsychosocial model and an incredibly supportive faculty and student body, I knew the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry was the ideal place for me to pursue a degree in medicine. Now that I am back in my native city, I am happy to have an opportunity to contribute in whatever way I can to the U of R medical school and to the Rochester community for all the experiences and support I have been given over the years.