In this blog you will read of my journey as a hapless student navigating through medical school and my rewarding yet futile quest of becoming the next William Osler. Here you will find stories describing challenges that encompass both blunders and achievements- from my descent into a miserable 8-month depression after the death of my Father and nearly dropping out of medical school to being published in two peer-reviewed journals and scoring in the 99th percentile of the USMLE. Life is darkness and light. I wish there was a way to briefly summarize this journey in a few sentences but all I can say is that... it was worth it.
If you're a student considering pursuing this long and wearing path,
I have a few words of advice:
1. As you gain knowledge, stay grounded
2. Learn and re-learn because you'll forget if you don't.
3. Grow some thick skin in the process
4. Remind yourself why you wanted to help people through medicine.
5. Don't pursue medicine for the $, the most important things in life aren't things.
I'll be graduating from UCLA in a couple months and will be specializing in Internal Medicine, perhaps sub-specializing in the future. I'm happy with my decision. The journey has been demanding and sometimes marked with doubts but this was the path I choose eight years ago while watching my Dad being wheeled to an OR... damn good decision.
Lastly, I want to motivate students out there who come from an underserved background-- perhaps a recent immigrant struggling with English or someone from "the hood" with little resources and an uphill battle to success.
Match Day: (3/16/12))
My family (five of us) came to this country when I was 9 yrs old, our family's annual income was less than $22,000 living in a one bedroom apartment for several years. I'll admit without embarrassment that we grew up with government assistance. Nothing was easy... but nothing is impossible. I worked hard and never lost focus. There's countless stories of folks who through hardwork and sheer will have beaten the odds. We are all dealt with certain cards that we must play in life, but the difference between a successful grasshopper and others is not a lack of strength or knowledge, but rather in a lack of will. In this path you will experience failures (trust me!), but success consists of navigating from failure to failure without loosing enthusiasm, so don't give up. If you wish to read more about this topic, then I suggest this post from awhile back.