In 2012, when I finished my biochemistry degree, I largely had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. While asking myself the question “What would I truly enjoy?” I had an inkling it would be something medically related. My journey began when I talked to a friend, a paramedic in Memphis. He really enjoyed what he did daily, and he informed me about the process of becoming an EMT. I was surprised to find I could acquire my EMT certificate in 6 months and begin providing medical care to people. I decided to jump at the opportunity since I really had no other plan at the time. The next 5 years included some of the most transformative experiences I have ever had and ultimately led me to pursue a vocation as a physician.
During that time, I worked my way up from a basic EMT to an advanced EMT. I experienced my scope expand from taking vitals to starting IVs and giving medications based on observations and symptoms. The increased responsibilities allowed me to have more and more patient interactions. Throughout my experience as an EMT, I inadvertently realized there are large health disparities. Some of my favorite patients were also regulars. These individuals suffer from severe chronic conditions requiring constant medical attention. However, if you sit down and talk to them, you would not know it because they were so upbeat and happy to be alive. Their attitudes despite all of it really motivated me to do more—not only for them, but to help anyone whom I could reach.
By 2015, I had decided I wanted to carry out my vision of aid by becoming a physician. With the background I had acquired as an EMS and the ways it had shaped my vision, I knew I wanted to pursue my medical education from a school that emphasized primary care and recognized the barriers of healthcare. Ultimately, most schools are going to teach us all the same materials, but to me, I began to see the intangibles— what the school uses to prepare future physicians to tackle the issues we will face daily when talking to patients. As I researched and prepared my application in the ensuing two years, I knew Quillen COM would be a solid contender. However, it was not until my actual interview when I met the staff and toured the campus to see first-hand what the school offered that Quillen became a top choice for me. Moving forward, I believe I will acquire the necessary tools from Quillen to broaden my experiences so I may better serve those who led me down this path.
Special recognition goes to my family. Without their continual support, none of this would be possible.