Why did you choose to attend FSU to pursue a graduate degree?
During my sophomore year at the University of Central Florida, I began working as a lead mentor for FSU College of Medicine’s SSTRIDE program. In this position, I tutored local middle and high school students in an after school program. In this role, I learned more about the College of Medicine’s mission to work with underserved and minority populations and was able to build relationships with the school’s faculty and staff. I also appreciated how early and often students gained clinical exposure.
What motivated you to pursue a graduate degree?
Watching my mother go back to school to obtain a degree in nursing exposed me to the healthcare field early on. The science behind medicine has always intrigued me. Applying objective knowledge and data in creative ways makes the clinical medicine such an exciting field. I am particularly excited about the field of psychiatry since the treatment of patients is multidimensional and not always “one size fits all.”
Importance of your research and work
My interests in mental illnesses and addiction has led me to become increasingly aware of the stigma associated with the two. Those affected commonly experience feelings of shame and isolation which only perpetuates the nature of their disease. I hope by educating the public and my future patients, this stigma will continue to be broken down. As one of the founders of the College of Medicine Addiction Medicine Interest Group, I look forward to my generation of physicians continuing to treat these patients with understanding, compassion, and respect.
After obtaining my MD, I want to pursue a residency in an underserved, urban area. Currently, I am interested in psychiatry, addiction, and academic medicine.
Advice for anyone considering graduate school
Believe in yourself and find others that believe in you too! Mentorship is so important so identify people that have done what you hope to accomplish. They will be valuable resources in your career and personal life. Graduate school is challenging, but it’s a lot easier when you aren’t doing it on your own.
Accomplishments during your graduate career
I was selected as a fellow for the Dr. June Jackson Christmas Medical Student Summer Fellowship with Columbia University’s Department of Psychiatry and the Betty Ford Summer Institute for Medical Students.