Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine- Auburn Campus
Future Goals: After completing medical school, I plan to practice internal or emergency medicine in Georgia. I also look forward to serving my country and community by fulfilling my military obligation in the Army National Guard when I become a licensed physician. Practicing medicine will give me the unique opportunity to accomplish my goal of mentoring and recruiting diversity into health care.
Minorities in Medicine who have inspired you: Both Vivien Thomas and William G. Anderson, DO set the standard for minorities in medicine. I admire Vivien Thomas, because he helped to pioneer the invention of cardiac surgery in the face of adversity and prejudice. William G. Anderson aided Dr. Martin Luther King in catalyzing the civil rights movement while being a trail blazer for minorities pursuing surgery.
Describe a hardship you’ve faced as a minority student pursuing medicine: Growing up as a minority I never really encountered any minority physicians, so it was always difficult to imagine myself going to medical school. Initially, this lack of representation detoured me from medicine, but the older I got, the more I began to see this dilemma as hurdle to overcome instead of a road block. Ultimately, I used this as motivation to blaze a path for other minorities, so they won't face the same problem I faced.
Advice for underrepresented minorities (URMs) who want to pursue medicine: The idea of going into medicine as a minority can be daunting when considering the lack of diversity and inadequate representation of ethnicities. It is important to surround yourself with a support system that will help you maintain your confidence and perseverance when attempting to go into a field where the odds are unfavorable for minorities. Support systems are vital in maintaining the diligence and confidence needed to embark on the path to becoming a doctor.
How do you feel empowered in your community?
Being a black medical student is empowering in my community because it gives me a platform to set the example and show students that they can break the mold and become a physician with hard work and dedication. My profession puts me in the position to mentor and guide youth who are willing to endure the hardship of pursuing medicine as a minority. There is no greater privilege than to uplift and encourage the youth of a community.