Monday, December 8, 2014


Born Without Ears
"Can I see my baby?" the happy new mother asked. When the bundle was nestled in her arms, and she moved the fold of cloth to look upon his tiny face, she gasped. The doctor turned quickly and looked out the tall hospital window. The baby had been born without ears. Time proved that the baby's hearing was perfect. It was only his appearance that was marred.
When he rushed home from school one day and flung himself into his mother's arms, she sighed, knowing that his life was to be a succession of heartbreaks. He blurted out the tragedy."A boy, a big boy...called me a freak." He grew up, handsome for his misfortune. A favorite with his fellow students, he might have been class president, but for that. He developed a gift, a talent for literature and music. "You might mingle with other young people," his mother reproved him, but felt a tenderness in her heart.
The boy's father had a session with the family physician. Could nothing be done? "I believe I could graft on a pair of outer ears, if they could be procured," the doctor decided. Whereupon the search began for a person who would make such a sacrifice for a young man.
Two years went by. Then, "You are going to the hospital, son. Mother and I have someone who will donate the ears you need. But it's a secret," said the father. The operation was a brilliant success, and a new person emerged. His talents blossomed into genius, and school and college became a series of triumphs. Later, he married and entered the diplomatic service. "But I must know!" he urged his father. "Who gave so much for me? I could never do enough for him."
"I do not believe you could," said the father, "but the agreement was that you are not to know...not yet."
The years kept their profound secret, but the day did come... one of the darkest days that ever pass through a son. He stood with his father over his mother's casket. Slowly, tenderly, the father stretched forth a hand and raised the thick, reddish-brown hair to reveal... that the mother had no outer ears. "Mother said she was glad she never let her hair be cut," he whispered gently, "and nobody ever thought mother less beautiful, did they?"
Real beauty lies not in the physical appearance, but in the heart. Real treasure lies not in what can be seen, but what cannot be seen. Real love lies not in what is done and known, but in what is done but not known.

I was moved deeply by this story. I don't know if it was the mother in me or the sense of urgency I get to help those in need. I have so much empathy for the underdog, for those that are not as able as others (I choose to reframe from labels such as disabled or handicapped) and for those individuals that are wonderfully unique. I am such an emotional person at times, and mid way through this story I was shouting to myself "What kind of parents would allow their child to suffer in such a way, and it was a no brainer that one of them or both should sacrifice their ears for this poor boy" and then I reached the end and my heart smiled.

I want to be kind when no one is watching, touch as many lives as I can, work hard even when the odds are against, be my childs' hero, and make my grandmother proud. And it doesn't matter if no one else knows who I am, I want my legacy to live through all the lives I reach.

Connect 4

Connect for a Purpose

If you have never heard someone utter the words, "Sometimes it's not about what you know but Who you know", trust me you will understand the meaning one day. I decided to write this post because lately I find that much of my time outside of home/work life is not only spent volunteering, shadowing and meeting new people but also trying to maintain the connections that I have made over the years. Whether it's an email, text, phone call or card in the mail, once you meet someone that you have made a significant connection with, hope to connect with more, admire or whatever the case may be, you have to work continually to keep that connection fresh. It is a work in progress because I have so many other things that I am doing in life and that I have going on.

I always try to connect for a purpose because I try to find meaning in every relationship that I form.  I don't consider every doctor I shadow or health professional I meet to be my "Mentor" and every person I meet will not necessarily become my friend. But when I meet physicians and they eagerly are interested in seeing me grow, accomplish my dreams, provide professional insight and grooming, then those are the individuals that I make sure that I keep in contact with and the same goes for friends, I like to surround myself with like minded people. Not in a sense that all my friends want to be doctors and share all of my same interest but people that are sincerely working towards accomplishing goals they have set for themselves and are interested sharing ideas and life experiences and helping others as they help themselves reach their dreams.

On the Connect 4 agenda for this upcoming month: I plan to attend my local chapter of the National Medical Association's Annual Christmas Party. I plan to connect with local medical students, medical professionals and admissions staff!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

A Fresh Start

This past Saturday as well as yesterday (Monday) I had the pleasure suiting up in my white lab coat, sea green hospital scrubs, and completing hospital rounds with the OB/GYN that I shadow.

Some individuals may have mixed emotions about witnessing child birth. I, on the other hand felt exhilarated, excited, ecstatic, and one step closer to my dreams !!!  Mainly because this was a completely new experience for me. I have never witnessed child birth before. I have a child but the experience of giving birth is far different from witnessing such a miracle. Another reason for my overly excited attitude was because I have always wanted to practice Obstetrics and this was a test for me. If I fainted, felt mere disgust by all of the bodily fluids, visuals and etc then I knew that I could never possibly practice as an OB/GYN. Thankfully, the opposite happened, I was amazed and honored to have been present when this small being took his first breath, the culmination of 40 weeks of gestation, the combination of 2 distinct individuals now residing in one soul. Purely MAGNIFICENT!

The beauty of shadowing at its best is that you are able to truly experience what the physician experiences. Finding a physician that provides you with real-time, "Real life" Medical experiences is so essential to our journey of pursing (pre)-medicine. I am fortunate that I have had nothing but real life medical experiences during my time shadowing. When I shadowed a Psychiatrist, she allowed me to sit in during her sessions with patients (with their consent of course), we talked about medication management and I had homework (research neurological pathways, medication mechanisms, specific disorders etc.) When I shadowed in Family Medicine, I reviewed lab results, xrays, EKGs, used my stethoscope (I felt I Doogie Howser or better yet Meredith Grey LOL), observed the physician during the patient encounters, went over EOBs, lack of sufficient reimbursement from insurance companies and tons of other things. And now during Obstetrics and Gyno, I have the opportunity to have more real life experiences. I am learning new things everyday. Is healthcare equal for all? NO. Do all physicians have the same work ethic, reasons for practicing, and aptitude? I doubt it. Is the compensation/debt ratio fair? Definitely not. But, as I continue to shadow, read, research, and so on, I am reaffirmed that this is definitely what I want to do, no doubts about it. I am quite sure this will be challenging, there will be many sleepless nights, there will be days when I have mothers' guilt. And, I will have to push myself to new limits, suck it up and know that my decision to pursue medicine is not just for me but for my family and for those that need someone like me advocating for their health rights. After experiencing childbirth firsthand and now witnessing the miracle of life from a different perspective, a new spark as been lit. If God gave me the ability to sustain another life within me, while also putting it in my heart the skills and passion to help someone else bring life into our world, help heal, and bring comfort to those transitioning, I know I can handle any curveball thrown my way.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Life is so Fair...

... Said No One Ever!

      I do a lot of self reflection, some about my past, how far I've come, mistakes I've made, lessons I've learned, people I've met and some I wish I would have never met LOL; some about the present, how I make use of my time and with whom, and then some about my future, where will I (and my family) be 5 yrs, 10 yrs, 20 yrs from now, I think about practicing medicine and yes I even think about not practicing medicine. However, not in the sense that I see myself doing something else in life but more like what if my scores aren't good enough, or what if I can't impress the admissions committee during my interview, what if I never get the chance to be the person I have always envisioned.
       So its not so surprising that there was a time when I lost a lot of sleep thinking about my past (mainly the mistakes) and thinking the future (my hopes and dreams and even my nightmares). Now I can say that I don't loose as much sleep as I once did, my daydreaming about rotations, practicing and even boards don't consume as much of my day as they once did. Because I realize more and more everyday that my past is in my past, I can't change it, I can't ask for a redo and traveling in time doesn't exist yet. And my future is unknown. For the most part I like to think that I have the power to write new chapters as I go and in a sense I do but God really has already determined where I will be 5 yrs, 10 yrs, 20 yrs from now and there are probably several paths predestined for me depending on my attitude and the decisions I make. So I am trying to worry less and live more and I definitely encourage the same to anyone that might be struggling with letting go of past grades, scores, friendship(any kind of -ship) and if you find yourselves to preoccupied with the future, just LET GO!

Friday, October 31, 2014


I briefly touched on the topic of Fear in a previous post so I will limit the current post to my academic and professional pursuits.

I literally had such a hard time writing this post. I went back and forth trying to figure out how to convey my thoughts and while this doesn't sum up everything it is a good start.

A few missteps in life and I became more and more detoured from my intended game plan, mind you a plan that I crafted as a 10yr old with dreams of being a doctor not know anything about life, living, growing and now my confidence was shaken and diminished.  I allowed fear to impact my performance in college, work, and professional settings. In high school I felt so powerful, so smart, so "gifted", so brilliant. Now I was a small fish in a big pond and I was drowning. When people would inquire about my college experience. The first thing I would say was "My high school didn't adequately prepare me for the larger, more diverse and robust educational arena." While this was true to an extent, what was more true was at that time I lacked the confidence, the attitude, and the will to say, "Hey this confidence that I walked in the door with is not misguided or false, I just need to dig a little deeper and pull that "Extra Something" that I know is within me and try harder, study longer and regain my power, my smarts, my gifts and the brilliance that is rightfully mine.  

I would overcome one fear and be confronted by the next fear. I didn't think I would graduate from college with the class I entered with. I had a child, worked too much and studied too little but guess what I did graduate. NEXT, Ok so I graduated so what but I bet I won't be able to finish my pre-med prereqs, they said ORGO and Physics are no joke, they said don't take Orgo in the summer, they said don't take Professor X. Just my luck :-/ I had no choice but take Orgo 1 during the summer with of course Professor X but guess what I passed both courses, with "A/A+" at that. NEXT... see the list goes on and on. Nothing I did was good enough, there was always the anticipation of something more challenging, an obstacle that I couldn't possibly overcome. But once I stop anticipating everything that could go wrong and tried to focus on everything that could go right, I definitely noticed a change in my attitude and my outlook on my potential for success improved as well. 

Failure, defeat, collapse, losing, whatever you want to call it, I have experienced it all, been there done that, tweeted it, wrote a poem about, the whole nine. But that doesn't mean that I am immune to feeling disappointed or sad. But what it does mean is that when I fall, I have learned to cushion my backside in advance. I have trained my reflexes to react faster. I have learned to take notes so the next time I fall, trust me it wont be in the same spot, on the same day or time.  Despite what many may think, falling is inevitable, its just a matter of how you fall, when you fall, and/or how far you fall. Because some falls are so minor you barely notice them while others are so significant they may leave a bruise. So I choose to place my energy else where, now the only thing I think about is challenging myself, accomplishing my goals, proving myself right (not wrong), and being a role model for my child. I cant give up and I have definitely wasted too much time giving in to fear, to waste another second. Time is valuable, so lets make the best of it because before we know it, times up. 

P.S This is such an amazing clip D.Ward has on her page, It literally gave me so much life! If you have not already viewed this video I highly recommend checking it out!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Fall Update & Halloween DIY

I have not had the opportunity to add any news blogs lately because I have been computerless (Yikes I know right) but now that has all changed!

So basically heres a kind of not so brief update: I have been working diligently to complete my business plan, Articles of Incorporation, and other supporting documents for Non-profit and I hope to submit my AOI to my secretary of states office today (I am super excited). I am still shadowing a local OB/GYN and attending OB/GYN grand rounds. As far working goes, my fellowship officially ended Sept 30 but technically ended 2nd week of Oct because I participated in a Roundtable webinar as a panelist. Outside of that I work independently doing contract work. But for the most part I am a full time mother, which consume majority of my evenings, weekends and life LOL and working on my non-profit consumes that remainder of my day, the pay is Zero, but the personal rewards I am receiving are far more valuable
Writing, Helping others (through medicine, education, mentorship) Cooking and "hobbies" that keep me motivated and allow me to express my self. Writing- is my outlet, my so called "creative corner" and an area of reflection. Helping others- keeps me at peace, I am not a millionaire or even an expert in every matter under the sun, but I have life experience, words of encourage to offer, and personal faith to offer. Cooking- I am from the south and love good southern meals (well i love food in general :-) and I enjoy cooking for other people, providing them with nourishment, comfort and a good meal too! Now I need to find one that makes me some money!

As you can see the nuts did not want to cooperate, initially. So once the apples has sat for a while I took a spoon and moved the nuts in place and added more nuts to some of the apples. 
This weekend I decided that we would have a day of fun. Saturday consisted of a movie matinee, we saw the "Book of Life" and I actually thoroughly enjoyed it lol and then we went home and made (semi) homemade caramel apples dipped in nuts and made a jack-o-lantern. Check out Pursuits of Happiness for the the caramel apple recipe we used. They were sooo delicious!

I dropped my laptop last summer(July 2013) more than a month before my Aug 2013 MCAT test (the absolute worst feeling ever). To repair the computer would have been just like purchasing a new laptop and I was not financially able to make that move. So I had pretty much been without a computer until this June when I had the pleasure of using a company own laptop for the fellowship position, well I shipped that boy back earlier this month upon completion of my role.  And initially I had planned to wait a while before I purchased a computer but then I thought about all of the things I needed to do that required the internet, word processing etc. While the library was an option I tend to work into the wee hours of the night and computer availability is not guaranteed. I purchased a Desktop computer last week. I chose a Desktop versus a laptop because it is more family friendly, cost efficient  and because I will be in medical school in the coming summer/fall and my school will either provide me with a laptop or I can allocate funds from my loans and purchase one! I learning to speak everything into existence, there is nothing that I want or need that God hasn't already set aside for me. All I have to do is remain faithful and claim what is already mine! Here's a challenge for you- eliminate estimation, guesstimation {yea I know its not a real word but that's why I love creative writing} and if statements from your vocabulary, use AFFIRMATION STATEMENTS instead.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

What is your deepest fear?

Part I

Marianne Williamson, said a mouthful right! I will discuss fears and confidence in greater detail in a later post!  
But here's a taste of how I feel, fear plays whatever role we allow them to in our lives. There are things that we can control, work towards, improve on and change and then there are things we have absolutely no control over. And we have to consciously decide if we will work towards happiness, success and accomplishment or Loose sleep, hair, weight and God knows what else, in a world where we are just a small fraction of a larger puzzle, in which many of its pieces we may never see, touch, hear or feel. This is a battle that I face daily and this morning I choose prayer, I have so many things and people to be thankful for and I want to focus on positive energy and real moments. 

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Take a Deep Breath

I have been running non-stop for months. From studying 6-7 days a week for the MCAT, primary/secondary applications to working 40+ hours weekly, then play dates, the park, guppy swim lessons, and limited sleep. And I honestly did not know the toil it had taken on my body until today.

I literally completed my Fellowship on Tuesday and was on to another opportunity on Wednesday. Today after spending a day at an OB/GYN Clinic, seeing patients, participating in discussion and listening to presentations, I could barely keep my eyes open as I drove home. Then I was greeted by a very energetic kid and my exhaustion was an after thought and I remembered who I was and what my life consisted of, that yesterday, today and even tomorrow, will probably be considered calm days in the grand scheme of things, compared to what my future will hold. Then I took deep breath in and thought about the budding couple I met expecting their very own Thanksgiving surprise. And, after discussing school lunch, math, reading and my day downtown, my little one reminded me that I always have a "test patient" at home who doesn't mind a cold stethoscope. And then I took a deep breath out.

Have you every looked up and been amazed at how much time has gone by, whether you were consumed in excitement or with the daily going abouts of life?? That's sort of how I feel, it will be 2015 before we know it and I feel like just last week I was waiting for the snow storm to pass. So tonight I plan to indulge in whatever fantasy my mind can concoct and have long sweet dreams. And tomorrow I will get up and do it all again, reminding myself throughout the day to just take a deep breath and take it all in as comes.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

To beautiful Beginnings

I am feeling very productive today. My Fellowship ended yesterday and today I am back on my grind, volunteering at my childs' school, shadowing, new job search, finalizing my secondary applications and rejoicing in all that is today, tomorrow and the future! LETS BE GREAT!

Monday, September 29, 2014

UnderGrad Chronicles:The Student Worker

{My typical undergrad school/employment semester schedule. Freshman through Senior YR. Its kind of hard to schedule certain parenting obligations and studying, (which unfortunately was fit in wherever I had a moment to breathe) so they are not listed in the schedule above.}  
Lecture/Study/Life balance is an essential component of maneuvering through college and being academically successful. When you add working part time and/or full time as well as being a parent, the balancing act can feel more like you’re walking a tightrope 20 stories high.  

I chose to work while in college because working was a necessity for me. Coming from a single parent home, my mom and family couldn’t afford to contribute substantially to my siblings needs and towards my education. And, even after multiple sources of funding, there still was an unmet need. Working helped supplement that void. When I became a parent, working was even more essential, it was my year around means of healthcare, adequate means of transportation, and so on. This lead to an imbalance in my work/school life schedule. And, not only did my academic performance suffer tremendously, but so did my personal outlook on my future.

Working as a full student is probably one of my biggest regrets but it’s also one of the most valuable lessons I have learned. I wish it was different but for majority of the time that I worked while in undergrad I had poor time management, stretched myself to thin and neglected my studies, which was ironically my primary reason for working. It goes a lot deeper than a 300 word post but in summary: I am not the first student to have to work while in college and I am sure I won’t be the last.  I learned that this is just another obstacle, I will face in life, a test of my true strength, and an opportunity to exhibit perseverance. I have held several jobs since undergrad and I will continue to work until I enter medical school, because that is my reality (unless I win the lottery ;-) but now I am wiser and I know that I can’t let short term factors take precedent over long term goals.

When I finally decided to quit my long term employment role (of 7+yrs), my former manager said to me, “Don’t be a career student.” Initially I kind of took that as a “Jab” at my professional aspirations with a twist of bitterness because of my departure. Today, I find wisdom in her words because now I see that there is nothing wrong with being a “Career” or better yet a lifelong student. I never want to reach a point in which I am complacent and think that I have all the answers. I want to continue to evolve and grow, this will require an endless array of “Schooling”, which will consist of collegiate training, filled with worldly experiences. 

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Stay Tuned

Here are a few of my upcoming Blog Posts in no particular order:

  • Life is so Fair....
  • Shadowing
  • Starting a Non-profit

PsycholOGY vs BiolOGY

In order to practice medicine you have to major in a "hard core" science, such as Biology (preferably), Chemistry, Biochem and ______ (Insert a typical Science course/major). I am not sure if this way of thinking still exist but this is what was drilled into my psyche during high school and as I entered into college.

I personally consider this to be a misguided concept. When I graduated from high school and thought about my future, there was no doubt in mind that I wanted go to college, medical school and become a physician. And, when I thought about spending four years in college, I wanted to maximum both my personal and professional growth. I wanted to spend those years learning something intriguing, something new, something that I could apply in my everyday conversations and observations and I wanted preparation for my intended career field. And to acquire all of my desires I didn’t want to sacrifice one interest or passion for the other.

During 1st year orientation week , I was provide with words of wisdom from someone that I trusted wholeheartedly and admired dearly, “I think you should major in Biology.” Before starting college I had my mind set on being a Psychology major and not because I thought it was a cool word or I feared the rigor of the traditional “hard core” science. It was because of my personal experiences, my interest in understanding varying personalities, motivations, lifestyles and people and etc. Yet, I was easily convinced after being advised that a major in biology would provide me with the best preparation for medical school. I read around, looked at several stats and Biology was the most prevalent major for medical students, so Biology is what I declared! Looking back I can understand why my “Advisor” made this statement, but that was not the best major for ME, for my interest and my personal goals, so I eventually changed my major to psychology and today I still stand by that decision. Lesson 1) All advice it not necessarily the best advice for you, no matter how educated, experienced, or trust worthy the source is. Listen to the advice, digest it, and reflect on everything of value to you, pray on it and then make an educated decision. You may not always be right in your choices but that’s what life is about learning, growing and being able to share your experiences.

I am not sure how every single college in the world is structured, but at my liberal arts alma mater, most majors also had various “tracks” associated with them. For instance, as a Psychology major interested in medicine, I was provided with a list courses I should take that met both my psy graduation requirements and medical school pre-reqs. If I wanted to major in Psychology and pursue law, there was a track for that; Psychology and pursue research or grad school, there was a track for that. So I knew my options were not limited a traditional science just because that was the standard. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with majoring in Biology, Chemistry or ______ (Insert a typical Science course/major), as long as it is what YOU want to do, and not because of your parents, siblings, advisor, or what societal norms think. Lesson 2) Choose a major that fits who you are. Sometimes we don’t immediately know "who we are" or what we like, so do your research, talk to people, and think about your end goals. Upon reading about the recent changes to the MCAT, it appears others are starting to think outside the box as well, academic training is only a fraction of the journey, healthcare delivery is a puzzle and in order to really reach patients beyond the facade of the credentials that follow your last name, we have to have a body of individuals that understand a lot more than how to order labs, prescribe antibiotics and so on.

If there’s only one road to your destination but you are clearly miles away on uncharted land, then start digging your own path, one that’s right for you.  

Monday, September 22, 2014

Dear Reapplicant :-)

I was no where near prepared to begin an AACOMAS/AMCAS application, let alone be a medical student, when I completed undergrad a few years ago. Due to declaring a new major at the beginning of my sophomore year in college (Biology to Psychology) to ensure that I completed all of my Psychology core requirements for graduation I had to forgo the traditional pre-med route. I had two options: A) complete all of my premed pre-reqs and finish undergrad in 5 years  or B) graduate in 4 years with a Psychology Degree and complete my Physics and Organic Chemistry pre-reqs later. I attended a Private Liberal Arts College and tuition was extremely high so I opted for option B.

If you have ever been to an amusement park than you are more than likely familiar with roller coasters and for me my undergrad experience was analogous to the hilly, looped filled, unpredictable roller coasters at your local amusement park, which would need an entire blog post on its own.

After graduating from college with it a GPA that was anything but stellar, I was still hopeful that medical school was somewhere within my horizon. Unfortunately, I was not able to enroll in school to complete my post bacc program immediately after graduating because of limited availability due to my work schedule and home obligations. But not to despair about 6months after graduating I was enrolled in a non-traditional post bacc program. I was enrolled for a total of 17 consecutive months because I took classes during the summer as well and for the most part my course load consisted of between 6-10 credits per semester. I completed both sets of Organic Chemistry including labs, both set of Physics w/integrated lab components, Biochemistry and a few other non medical school related courses. For me taking a limited amount of classes was the best option because it fit my budget and my times constraints (work and home life). And it proved  beneficial because I was able to perform very well in all of the classes.

Performing well in my "Post Bacc" classes was just the motivation I needed to spark added flame to my medical school dreams. Yet, I wanted to participate in a more rigorous academic program, so I enrolled in a masters program. Fast forward to present day, almost 2 years after completing my M.S program, hundreds of volunteer and shadowing hours, a couple of MCATs and medical applications later, Here I am! Even though my journey has been very rocky and slightly extended, I have learned a lot along the way such as: what study methods work for me, how to overcome test anxiety, I gained a vast amount of medical shadowing experience, learning how to balance school work/parenthood and perform well in class, what factors are important to me in an academic program and I even had the chance to interview with medical schools.

As you can tell by reading thus far, my journey was not swift or effortless. At times I felt like Dorothy, her trek towards Oz was not as carefree as she may have hoped and the yellow brick road had several pot holes and unwanted travelers along the way. But with perseverance and the help of a few supportive mates she made it. I can too and God willing I will!

To Blog or Not To Blog!

To Blog it is.....

Thank you for visiting my blog. I am a newbie to blogging but I am very excited the share my journey thus far with readers.

Who I am:
I am a non-traditional “PreMed”, I am applying to medical school (re-applicant)
I am in my mid twenties, I was born and raised in the southeastern region of the US, I have a B.A in Psychology and M.S degree as well, I have grade school aged child. And, I am not currently enrolled in academic course.

Why did I choose to blog:
I began writing creatively after finding myself engulfed in a poetry assignment I received from my 5th grade gifted teacher. And, at times I have found that poetry has provided me with the opportunity to express myself more effectively than through spoken language. I believe writing this blog will provide the same comfort. Additionally, I randomly stumbled across a few blog sites of medical students (Aspiring MinorityDoctor and Mrs. Mommy MD) this year that gave me so much life and provided me with such inspiration. Seeing them live out their dreams supplied me with additional motivation that I too one day will get to do the same!

Where am I today:
I am in the midst of the 2015 application cycle. I submitted my primary application this summer and recently reunited with my dear friend Mr. MCAT! And I am in the process of waiting for interviews, completing newly received secondaries, and waiting to receive my scores (which should be within the next week or two :-) so that I can receive additional secondaries. Outside of the ever exciting and exhilarating application process, I am working and pursing additional shadowing and other medically relevant activities.