I received a BS in mechanical engineering from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in 2008. Near the end of my undergraduate studies I did an internship with Alcon surgical where I helped design instruments for cataract surgery. At Alcon, I was able to view cataract surgery with one of Alcon’s Phacoemulsification systems at UCLA. While sitting at the surgeon's side during the procedure, I initially saw how a desire to spend my career working with my hands could take the form of a life in medicine. In the weeks following my observation of this fifteen minute procedure I experienced a maelstrom of thoughts which sparked a re-examination of my goals. In what amounts to an epiphany, my focus shifted and zeroed in on the wealth of knowledge the study of medicine offers. The opportunity to discover how I can mesh my engineering background with the study and practice of medicine is at the heart of my mission now.
Two key experiences helped me strengthen my application for medical school. I obtained a part time job as a Scribe at Hoag Hospital Emergency Department. Anyone looking for clinical experience should consider being a Scribe, it is one of the most challenging and rewarding experiences that I have had. I was also fortunate enough to be accepted to the Student Health Professions Health Certificate Program at CSUF. The faculty and advisors at CSUF are some of the most intelligent and inspiring I have had the pleasure of working with. I credit a 98th Percentile MCAT score in the BIO section to: Dr. Cohen, Professor Rasche, Dr. Murray and Professor Rogers. Advice, guidance and support from Dr. Goode was present throughout my journey and for this I will always be in dept to her.
Nearly four years after my epiphany and after 2 application cycles, I have been accepted to the Keck School of Medicine at USC as well as a new program at USC called Health Technology and Engineering (HTE). This is a dream come true and I owe this to the resources and individuals at CSUF and the Health Professions Advising Office.
Some advice for those considering medicine:
1) Don’t let your grades keep you from pursuing your career. Once you decide on medicine, get the best grades you possibly can and go from there.
2) Volunteer/ clinical experience: It doesn’t matter what you do as long as it truly interests you and keeps you motivated.
3) Everyone will try to talk you out of becoming a doctor. Don’t listen.