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.
Before committing to becoming a math-lete (literally), I wanted to explore first. Maybe it was the volunteering with the underserved or going to a liberal school like Cal or my own modest background, but I left college with a need to serve and help others. So, I thought about medicine, an idea I toyed with in high school. In short, I worked for a couple doctors, volunteered at a free clinic, completed a post-baccalaureate program, and did research. After all that and an introspective, existentialist, soul-searching verification of medicine as my true "Pathway," I have finally evolved from impractical to practical to somewhere in between. I found a comfortable and perfect balance—a balance I saw paralleled in the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry. We have a Nobel prize medal on display in our medical school entry way, the Biopsychosocial Model of medical education and practice, the contemplative Medical Humanities electives, and the integrated hardcore-science classes…I could go on and on. No other place with so much snow can feel like home and encourage my faith of becoming a complete physician.