I am a highly motivated, well-rounded third year pre-med student currently attending the University of South Florida (USF), in Tampa, Florida, majoring in Biomedical Sciences. I am a prospective medical school student, in hopes of matriculating Fall 2018.
Growing up as a military child, my family and I moved every 3 to 4 years to a new area where we would have to establish new friendships and relationships with people in similar situations. However, once my father retired from the United States Marine Corps, he was given an opportunity to work on a small military base in the Caribbean, known as Naval Base Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. In such a geographically secluded area, with very limited resources, it was difficult to explore avenues of interest, such as: sports, hobbies and most importantly, excelling in education.
My interest for medicine started when I was in late elementary, early middle school. STEM courses and interesting science channels, out of the measly 10 channels available to us, really sparked my interest of the body. Throughout high school, I involved myself with leadership and volunteering throughout the community, whether it was being NHS and Class Presidents or being part of the Disaster Team for the Red Cross or helping the elder Cuban Immigrants in the hospital. Unfortunately, I did not have the opportunity to shadow physicians on base, due to the countless regulations imposed by the government. However, my curiosity and excitement for medicine was about to spark even higher, once I received my acceptance letter to attend the University of South Florida (USF) in Tampa Bay, Florida.
I will never forget the cultural shock that I experienced after moving to the United States after living on a secluded, low population military base for 15 years. It was during my orientation, a week before my first semester started, where I really noticed how different I was from everyone else. As soon I was walked into the atrium, I noticed everyone was on his or her phone. They were gingerly texting away to their friends, surfing the web, and sending countless Snap Chats about their first day of orientation. Me on the other hand, I felt lost. Back where I use to live, whenever we saw someone new or did not known anyone at all, we introduced ourselves and either showed them around or asked to be shown around. Here, it was the complete opposite. As I saw it, texting was their safe haven, where they did not have to experience the awkwardness associated with being in a whole new environment. So, I did as I would have done back home. I got up, tucked away from anxiety-driven safe haven into my pocket and attempted to meet new people and as a result, I got to meet my current best friends and roommates.
Now what about school? Well, majoring in Biomedical Sciences (BMS) with a minor in Psychology, I was able to explore a plethora of material-dense classes, of which not only made me reconsider why I wanted to become a doctor, but also strengthened the interest I had for the body. Such complex mechanisms, pathways, equations and weird correlations really made want to delve into more difficult classes that could thoroughly describe them. Some of which, really kicked my butt, but at the end of the day I had a thorough understanding of the material I was interested in. Besides academia, community involvement through research and volunteering truly epitomized the trek I ardently desire to pursue. Most notably, research internships at both the Moffitt Cancer Research Center and Byrds Alzheimers institute really gave me the opportunity to excel and understand the Experimental Method, as well as giving me the opportunity to work with patients and patient information, but to also work with many knowledgeable individuals who are not afraid to lend a hand to teach you something new. As for community involvement through volunteering, I have been highly involved in the USF Rugby team, a Medical Fraternity (AED), a student mentor for middle/high school students, and still a proud member of the Red Cross Disaster Team. In every one of these affiliations, I am able to work alongside many like-minded, motivationally driven people for the betterment of the Tampa community.
College has been a wonderful experience for me and has given me the opportunity to truly understand why I aspire to be a doctor. Prior to college, I always believed that medicine was only about the patient and the doctor. I had assumed that physicians would prescribe or recommend the best treatment for their condition, to ensure the best and most ideal outcome without any further considerations of families, customs and traditions. Of course, I never had a negative connotation associated with doctors, it was just the fact that I was never able to shadow one and see how much more there was to being a doctor than to just have a good GPA and test scores. Till recently, I have discovered that medicine is universal, involving everyone around you. The people you meet throughout your undergraduate career, the Principle Investigators (PIs) and researchers you work for, and the families of patients you get the opportunity to meet throughout shadowing, allows one to transition from a self-centered, egocentric point of view, towards a more morally-developed allocentric persona.
Undergraduate Degree: University of South Florida-Main Campus - Bachelor of Science, Biomedical Sciences
I love to play sports such as Rugby, Soccer and Football and am heavily involved in the academic and healthcare fields.
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