In this Q&A series, we have the honor of featuring Anne! Anne is a third year medical student, who obtained her bachelor’s in healthcare administration at Monroe College. She is also completing her Master’s in Public Health and plans to pursue OBGYN. She is currently completing research on the maternal mortality rate among Black women in Chicago.
1. What drew you to pursuing a career as a physician? Did you consider other career choices?
After losing my mother to sickle cell anemia back in 2000 and hearing different stories about how she died, I became really interested in learning about sickle cell anemia. Back in Haiti she needed a blood transfusion, however, with the high demand for blood and very little donation she did not receive any and ended up dying from complications of sickle cell.
I also wanted to pursue a career in ballet however my dad thought it was craziness but after I twisted my ankle and missed one of my shows he told me that ballet was not a realistic career for a person after sustaining injuries.
2. You are a mother to beautiful twins and a medical student! Can you tell us what it’s like to balance two very demanding roles? How do you make time to study while having children?
It is very challenging. They’re both 9 months and require constant looking after. I do not know how I could have done it without my partner and my school’s faculty. After coming from my LoA I told them about my situation and I learned that the most important thing is communication. Communication with my partner and school. I study best at night so my partner takes care of them and puts them to bed so that I could study. Bedtime is at 7:30 pm so from then to 2 am I am free to study and complete my MPH assignments.
3. How was your pre-med journey? Did you have a traditional or non-traditional path?
My school had a nursing program however no premed. Because I knew what I needed to take to complete my science courses I did lots of back and forth with my advisor which at the beginning was annoying. I needed to prove to them that I could handle the course loads of my program before they allowed me to take the science courses needed to apply for medical school.
4. How many medical schools did you apply to? What was important to you when choosing where to apply?
I applied to 10 medical schools. My cousin went to Howard School of Dentistry and advised me on what road to take in order to apply for medical school. I knew I needed a good MCAT score and good GPA however I wish I had more mentoring and guidance when choosing a medical school that fit the type of student I was as a premed. My selection was broad and I wished I had narrowed down my search and picked medical schools more fit to the type of student I was.
5. Do you have any tips for maintaining wellness during pre-med or medical school?
Do not burn yourself out. Take breaks and have a change of scenery, you will need that. Talk to someone when you feel frustrated. It can be depressing when you don’t get the results you want or if you are left behind. Stop looking at your classmate’s success and focus on your own. Focus on your mental health because your journey is yours not theirs.
Stop looking at your classmate’s success and focus on your own. Focus on your mental health because your journey is yours not theirs.
6. How can students stand out on their medical school application?
Have good grades in your science courses if you are a non-traditional premed student. If you have let’s say a B- in pre-calculus try getting an A in calculus. Show the board that you are cut to handle pressure. Have good MCAT scores, a really good touching personal statement, great LoRs and get some clinical hours in by doing research or shadowing doctors.
7. Did you take a gap year? If so, what did you do during this time?
I did. During the first 4 months I participated on a research project based in the Bronx, NY and for the other 8 months I worked to save for medical school.
8. What interested you to pursue an MPH?
I always wanted to have a concentration in Public Health in order to better serve my patients. I’m more of a “if you can prevent it then we don’t need to take uncomfortable measures to get rid of the disease” sort of practitioner. Preventive healthcare has always been something I was interested in and now because I want to work on maternal mortality rate among African American women my MPH knowledge will help me understand how to address the issues that pregnant black women face in the US and prevent them from being part of the well too known statistic.
9. What is something you wish you knew before applying to medical school?
I wish I had networked more and went on medical conventions. Networking plays such a big role when applying to medical school and going to medical convention/conferences will give you more exposure to doctors, professors, admission advisors. Shadowing a doctor can help you reach goals. If you want to become an OB/Gyn shadow an OB/Gyn.
10. Any last tips for pre-medical students going through the medical school journey?
It’s okay if you fail or take longer to complete a course. If medicine is your passion you will complete it. It doesn’t matter when, what matters is you getting to your end goal because true failure is when you stop trying. Medical school will be challenging, but true strength comes through resilience.
I hope you enjoyed the interview! Let us know if you have any questions by leaving a comment below!