A Personal Story: An Obstacle is not a Roadblock
I cannot remember a time when I did not want to be a Doctor. When I started college I approached my classes with fervor, and tried to make myself the best student I could be. I joined the premedical associations on campus, and quickly learned that medical schools were looking for students with well rounded applications, to include community service, leadership skills, research and clinical experiences. In seeking summer research opportunities I found that most of them had the same stipulation that I did not meet: US Citizens or Permanent Residents Only. Although frustrated by the limitation in my options, I was determined not to let this prevent me from making myself a well-rounded and adequately prepared candidate for medical school.
Since I could not apply for many summer research fellowships, I carved out my own areas of research from classes and worked with professor’s to try and understand social science research. I sought international medical experiences, that would not only allow me to gain a more hands-on clinical experience compared to the summer internships that would not accept my application, but also allow be to travel the world. I did networking a met physicians from the hospital at my academic institution and from that was able to do shadowing in various departments. Although I still had to worry about my GPA, MCAT scores, and all the numbers used to “weed people out”, I felt confident that my extracurricular experiences had given me breadth and depth in my exposure to the medical field. Moreover, the task of acquiring these experiences, rather than giving up because it was not handed to me easily, also made me a stronger person, and taught me that I must take control of where my life goes. So to other students I would say, an obstacle is not a roadblock but a hurdle, with determination (and sometime thinking outside the box) you can get over it.