My passion for medicine has been nurtured from my first visit to the doctor to my first animal dissection to most recent hours of shadowing different health occupations. I have grown close to the hospital setting through years of volunteering and I have found myself caught in nostalgia every time I exit. Perhaps the most significant of these experiences would be extending my knowledge of medicine unto others. Hosting a children’s health fair enlightened me on the effects of spreading health awareness in the community. Performing heart dissections with hundreds of elementary students would be the deciding factor for kids in altering their lifestyle habits. Presenting poverty and global health awareness campaigns would change how my peers acknowledged the importance of altruism in health care. These experiences left me filled with hope in the application of interdisciplinary aspects of medicine and a strong desire to make an impact in medicine as a black woman in America.
At your age did you feel adequately prepared entering medical school?
To be completely honest, I do not feel that anyone feel adequately prepared to enter medical school. In fact, there is truly nothing that can fully prepare you for medical school. You just have to be passionate about it and go for it! I believe that being confident in my passion for medicine and trusting in God allowed me to be prepared for the rigorous program that I am in and is helping me succeed in it as well. I am young, but I am strong, determined, and willing to learn from life, so I do not see my age as a hindrance, but just a number.
Why didn’t you want until you were older to get started?
I have known that I wanted to be a doctor since I was very young, (cliche I know), but I remember being in Kindergarten and telling everyone that I wanted to be a doctor. Since then nothing has changed, my enthusiasm was out of this world! I was going to become a doctor and nothing was going to stop me, so when I figured out there was a way to accelerate the process (through combined degree programs) I was willing to take the risk. I did not see any disadvantage to starting early, and did not see why I should wait any longer to chase my dream.
What do you do when things get tough?
I am very strong in my faith, so when things get tough I will always pray. Then of course, I will eat, I seem to be a stress-eater, but actually I find eating to be such a relaxing activity.
What advice do you have for students hoping to be in your shoes soon?
A quote I like to think of is, “it is better to hear well done than well said”. If there is anything you want to pursue in life, go for it, do not hold back, but proceed with caution!
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
In five years, I hope to see myself in residency (hopefully dermatology) at an amazing program surrounded by supportive faculty and encouraging peers. I hope to be inspiring other girls to shoot for the stars and making an impact on lives around the world.
You can learn more about Angela by checking out her blog! It is focused around medicine and mentorship in addition to fitness, faith, food, and fashion. She seeks to aspire young people, specifically girls, through faith–exemplifying that the worldly woman is not the way of the wise woman.