Let’s Talk Tuesday | Keep Your Eyes on the Prize as long as I can remember I have always wanted to be one thing: a doctor. It started out with me wanting to be a neurosurgeon, which transformed to a desire to practice cardiology, and soon led me to an interest in doing research. My dream has literally always been to save lives. Along the way though, I somehow lost sight of the why and started focusing on the why not.

Coming from a first-generation family I had very little (basically no) knowledge of what it would take for me to achieve my goal of becoming a physician. In my mind it was as easy as 1-2-3. But when it came time to head off to college, I was so focused on just getting in and staying afloat that I lost sight of asking questions that directly pertained to my interest in further studies beyond undergrad. Because of that, I started my pre-medical education quite late in the game and it overwhelmed me and brought tons of doubt into my mind. It was not until I met one specific pre-professional advisor that I began to feel as though I had given up too soon. She reminded me that it would not be an easy journey and that she knew that I am capable, but that I too needed to realize and embrace that I am capable of being successful on this journey

I continued taking my courses and even added a general science major to my first major (exercise science). However, as I continued in the programs life circumstances occurred and my performance suffered. After so many years of wanting something I suddenly felt my dream slipping from my grasp and I frantically started looking for an alternative option as my senior year approached.

Fast forward to now, I am studying public health and still working to accomplish my goal of working to save lives. To be honest, public health is a population based field and thus saves lives on a broader scope than the individual focus of clinical medicine. So why am I not satisfied? Every day I find myself wondering if I could have gotten into medical school, or if I should still try to pursue medical school. Without even trying, I pushed aside the one thing I wanted to do my entire life for fear that I am not good enough based on the opinions of others along the way in addition to a few negative experiences along the way.

My advice to you: do not allow ANYONE to influence how you feel about you, your abilities, your appearance, nothing. Keep working for what you want out of life. If you wake up daily asking yourself if you should have done something or if you should do something, then I encourage you to try to do it. “Nothing beats a fail but a try.” At least if you try and fail, you will not regret not knowing for the rest of your life.

As much as I love public health and can truly say that I do not regret the choice to study it, I also know this is not the end of my journey. To make the type of impact that I hope to make, it is going to take the effort of me working to reach my true professional goal. I know that it will not be easy or quick; but, I am 100% sure that it will be worth it. I want to be a physician and I want to save lives. I put it on the back burner once, but know this: I will not do that again. I have my eyes on the prize.


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