What Our Students Say About Us
I have two genuine passions in life: ballet and medicine. My interest for ballet came at a very young age. I started dancing at the age of 6 and, ever since, ballet became a great part of my life and biggest passion for some time. Ultimately, I was drawn into the medical profession by my commitment to serve others in need, especially those underserved. I firmly believe that the biospychosocial emphasis at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry will provide, develop, strengthen and enable me with the necessary skills and tools to give others in need the best health care.
I attended Xavier University of Louisiana and while there I 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. Even though I returned home for a semester, I went back to New Orleans and Xavier with a strong dedication to pursue my dream of completing my college education and pursing 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. 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.
Three years ago I fulfilled a childhood dream when I signed a contract to play professional soccer for the San Jose Earthquakes of Major League Soccer (MLS). Despite enjoying the three-hour work days while playing for San Jose, I quickly realized important aspects in my job were missing. Second, I longed to play a different role in the world. My friend’s suggestion was one of those “ah-hah!” moments. After reflecting on the experiences in my past that I had found most rewarding, I hung up my soccer cleats and have not looked back since. In my first month here, I have been amazed by the incredible individuals in my class. Daily, the talent and diversity remind me of why I chose Rochester.
I am Diné from Tuba City, Arizona on the Navajo Nation. I am of the Towering House Clan and born for the Reed People. My story of how I arrived here to study medicine at the University of Rochester begins with my family and our Diné beliefs. I grew up in a very close family in an area where everyone who lives within a five-mile radius is related to me. My family has a very long history of cancer, mainly of the colon and stomach. Growing up I spent so much time in and out of hospitals showing our support and, in most cases, paying our last respects. Having grown up in an isolated world on the Navajo Nation, I had no idea that this number of cases in one family was not normal. After spending some part of my education off the reservation, I began to make larger comparisons and realize more and more that there was something wrong.
I was very impressed with the University of Rochester’s biopsychosocial model of learning medicine and felt that it would integrate all aspects of my traditional beliefs into a great medical education. I spent the last bit of my grandmother’s life at her bedside talking with her for hours about my plans for my life, which included how I wanted to become a doctor. She expressed her concern about how the world (of the Diné) was changing into that of the “white” people and how Western medicine was taking over traditional healing and knowledge. I convinced her that I was not going to leave my Diné teachings but that I was looking for a way to integrate and balance Western medicine into our traditional sense of healing. She said that she was very proud of my courage and willingness to continue and that as long as I was in touch with the Creator by giving thanks for all that Mother Earth provides for me, I should be able to maintain Hozhó and bring whatever I needed to back home to help our people.
I wish I could say that I’ve wanted to be a doctor all my life or that I had a life-changing experience that led me directly to medicine. Essays would be much easier to write. But let’s say that my road to medicine and Rochester began in childhood, when I was growing up in Southern California, wanting to be a professional athlete. I was so romantic and impractical with my dreams of playing softball (…I know…), but how could I not be? I loved it. But as college lurked in the near future, I began looking in a new direction. I attended the University of California, Berkeley, where I majored in mathematics and became practical and sensible. I considered teaching high school math as a career after several years of tutoring and coaching high school softball.
Match Day - 2012
Match day is always exciting. How did it feel this year? The students and the medical school were thrilled. Once again, our students matched at programs that mirror the breadth of their interests, from primary care to subspecialty areas they will be geographically spread around the country. We are fortunate as programs recognize the excellence of a University of Rochester medical school graduate and they are avidly recruited. Our alumni also help students by being available to assist students in the process. Our Advisory Dean system allows for individualized, focused career planning and development throughout the four years. We look forward to Match 2012! (see match list)
- Dr. David Lambert, Associate Dean for Medical Student Education