My Path: Brandon Henry, MD
Whether you’re starting your trek to medical school at 21 or 51, your path can be smooth as a newly paved road or wrought with potholes and detours. Yes, the ultimate goal is to get into medical school, but for many the path taken is just as important as the end results. Learning from others can help us to create and modify our individual road map to success. With this in mind, we are starting a new segment called My Path, where we highlight the successes and even the failures of not only our mentors but also college students we’ve encountered during different tours. In our inaugural segment, we highlight Dr Brandon Henry, who with his colorful personality and heartfelt stories has proven to be one of our more popular mentors during the past three tours.
Location: Cali baby!
Undergraduate: California State University, Sacramento
Medical School: The Real HU, Howard University College of Medicine
Residency: Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital, Pediatrics
Nickname on the Tour: 3 Medallions
When did you decide that you wanted to go to medical school?
That is a good question and one that I don’t know the exact answer to. Growing up my mother was a nurse and she used to have to take me to work with her. So in high school I thought maybe I would want to be a “sports doctor”. Even entering college I said I wanted to be a doctor, but I don’t think it was until the summer of 2005 that I fully decided that I wanted to go to medical school.
How did your family/significant other react to your decision?
My grandmother and mother were always behind me and said I could do it if I wanted to. My girlfriend at the time was behind me too. But let’s face it, who wouldn’t want a good looking brotha’ who wants to be a doctor, lol. But I did lose some friends along the way. I had to make some sacrifices and some people didn’t like it. Oh well, that’s the way the game goes some times.
Did you do any enrichment programs or shadowing during college?
I did a program called Pipeline at the University of Michigan in the summer of 2004 and I loved it! One of the best things I did.
Did you use any MCAT preparation?
Which time? Lol. The first two times I used Princeton Review. But if you don’t know how to study, it doesn’t matter which program you use. The third time I used a little bit of Princeton Review and Examkrackers, but I also had worked on my study skills a great deal.
How did you choose which medical schools to apply to?
I was only able to apply to 13 schools. So I applied to schools that I knew and had heard of. Also, I knew that I wanted to and had to apply to the three Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) medical schools.
What’s the best advice you can give to people applying to medical school?
Don’t give up on your dream and on yourself. If medical school is something that you truly want and desire, go after it and don’t stop until you get it. If you fail trying to get there, take a step back and learn from your failures. Use your failures to propel yourself forward. And of course…..NEVER CEASE TO PRAY!!! Trust God to give you the desires of your heart.
Describe what it was like to get accepted into medical school?
March 13, 2009 is a day that I will always remember! I still remember opening up that email while at work and ducking under the desk while I called people, lol. I remember the joy that was in my heart. I couldn’t believe that after all this time, I had finally achieved my dream of going to medical school. An unbelievable feeling! It is one that you all will experience in your future!
Now that you have graduated, any difference in how you feel now compared to your first day of medical school?
I feel much more confident! I feel stronger, wiser, more mature, more competent and aware. I feel like I have a greater idea of who I am. I know that Howard University College of Medicine tested me and took me to the limits and I came out on top. I know that I have what it takes to be an awesome physician. I feel blessed! I feel accomplished, because I had a goal in my mind and I refused to let anybody deter me from it. I feel VICTORIOUS!