My Path: Stequita Hankton
Now fully accustomed to her new daily schedule at Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine, we catch up with Student Doctor Stequita Hankton. Stequita attended one of our Tour sites as a college student and continued to stay in contact. Stequita takes center stage for our newest edition of My Path.
Location: Richmond, VA
High School: Moanalua High School, Honolulu, HI
Undergraduate: Xavier University of Louisiana, New Orleans, LA
Graduate: Hampton University, Hampton, VA
Medical School: Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine, Richmond, VA
When did you decide that you wanted to go to medical school?
This question always stumped me in interviews. For whatever reason I can’t pinpoint exactly when I decided I wanted to go to medical school. From the time I was a young child practicing physical examinations on my little sister, I knew I wanted to be a physician. As I got older it was only natural for me to align myself in a position to gain admittance into medical school to live out my childhood dream.
How did your family/significant other react to your decision?
Simple: My family was and still is elated! I will be the first physician in my family. With that said, my family has completely embraced my dream and they’ve done everything in their power to make it a reality. In chasing a career as a physician, I’ve questioned so many things: do I have the right personality?; am I smart enough?; will I ever make it? Basically anything I could formulate a question about, I questioned. With my family’s support and prayer they dismissed every question, filling the void with positivity and well wishes. The support of family and friends has really played a major part in me gaining acceptance into medical school.
Did you do any enrichment programs or shadowing during college?
I participated in numerous enrichment and summer research programs, as well as shadowed during college. Partaking in activities that mimicked being a physician gave me exposure, experience, and motivation. It’s easy to say you want to do something with no background knowledge, but it’s more convincing to say why. Joining in health related activities gave me the opportunity to see if practicing medicine is what I really want to spend the rest of my life doing. I think it’s important for all pre-medicine students to participate in activities of this nature for personal experience and for competitive edge when applying to medical school.
Did you use any MCAT preparation?
In order to prepare for the MCAT I enrolled in a Kaplan preparatory course. I tried to stay with the class, but I was having a hard time keeping up with the pace of the course alongside my college coursework. So instead of following the traditional Kaplan plan I solidified my background knowledge while simultaneously testing myself using Kaplan’s online resources (subject / topic test). I also took every practice AAMC Full-Length MCAT Exam provided by Kaplan.
How did you choose which medical schools to apply to?
When choosing medical schools the location and available resources were my primary selling factors. I know I wanted to go to a school in a big city with a diverse population because I’m interested in practicing medicine in inner-city populations. Attending a school with an abundance of resources (simulator labs, associated with numerous hospitals, strong/orderly admissions and financial aid office, etc.) will only make my life as a medical student more fulfilling.
How many letters of recommendation did you ask for/use?
I asked for at least 10 letters of recommendation. I know this is well over the amount needed, but each school has different letter of recommendation requirements and I wanted to make sure I had everything covered. I wanted to make sure everything that required someone besides myself was complete early on in the application process (transcript requests and letters of recommendation).
What’s the best advice you can give to people applying to medical school?
The best advice I can give to people applying to medical school is to remain prayerful and optimistic. The application cycle will put you through an emotional roller coaster, leaving you questioning your own merit. You have to remain your number one fan, and shun away negative thoughts.
Describe the feeling when you found out you got accepted into medical school?
When I pictured myself getting accepted into medical school I envisioned tears, screaming, and feeling like a mini parade. In actuality, I just felt a wave of relief. I stood there, holding the phone in disbelief (I called to check the status of my profile and the admissions counselor advised me of my status). After the initial shock, I just had the emotion of feeling blessed!
How did you hear about the Tour For Diversity?
I heard about Tour For Diversity from my pre-medicine advisor, Mr. Michael Druitt.
What was your most memorable moment from the day?
The most memorable moment from the day was winning an MSAR book plus online access. Don’t judge me! As a college student every penny counts. Aside from that I would say the day as a whole was memorable in its own right. There was a wealth of knowledge, more importantly there was room for students to ask questions. Its one thing to listen to one’s experience, but not everyone’s path to medical school is the same. Having the opportunity to ask questions that personally address my concerns proved to be extremely beneficial.