Tour for Diversity in Medicine

#T4DFeb2016 Day 2: That Moment When…

“Dr. Henry, you said you were such a bad student, what made you turn things around?” This is a question that was asked to me during our stop at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff. It’s a question that is asked of me often and I understand why. Shoot, there are times when I look back and wonder the same thing. I mean I was a guy who took 7 years to graduate, kicked out of school 2 times, living in a house with my frat brothers and partying all the time. I was in a place in my life that was very dark. There was a Sunday in 2005 when I had a “come to Jesus meeting” in my bedroom. I had just gotten home from church and went back to my room. I closed my door and just had a long talk with Jesus. He made it clear to me that I needed to make some serious life changes if medical school was something that I wanted to do. I mean I was 5 years into college and hadn’t taken any science classes and had failed multiple general education classes. At that moment it was made clear to me that I needed to move out on my own. At that moment it was made clear to me that I needed to step away from certain things. At that moment it was made clear to me that I needed to live in the library and become intimate with my books. At that moment things had never been so clear to me. At that moment, I knew what needed to be done and I was ready to make it all happen.

What I learned is that sometimes in life you have to hit rock bottom before things change. I mean nobody wants things to get that bad, but at times it has to happen. Sometimes you have to hit rock bottom before your path can be made clear. There’s a blessing in disguise when you are at rock bottom and that is, you can only go up! So if you are at your rock bottom, that’s the time to step back, be honest with yourself and put a plan in place. Sometimes that plan will include some big sacrifices, but it will all work in the end. Just remember, delayed gratification. My father used to always tell me, “do what you have to now so that you can do what you want later.” Put your head down and grind it out. Stay positive and keep pushing. If you work hard, it will all work out in your favor!

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