Before I begin, I'd like to thank Dr. Cuajungco Dr. Filowitz, Dr. Freeman, Dr. Goode, Dr. Hyland, Dr. Norton, Dr. Ow, Dr. Shamloo, Julie Stern, Dr. Varallo, and Dr. Walker. Without your support and constructive criticism, I wouldn't be where I am today.
Hello all! My name is Kam Haghayeghi and I'm an alumnus of CSUF. I am a first generation Iranian-American and the first person in my family to apply to medical school. My family has a rich history rooted in military, science, and art. I often see my family's passions and values reflected in my own characteristics. My organization and strategic approach to challenges is almost militaristic. My passion for science and my visualization of medicine as an art also seems to stem from familial roots. Family, friends, and my career are the most important aspects of my life. For fun, I enjoy playing music, exercising, and spending time with those I love. That's enough about my personal life … let's talk about medicine!
Why I chose to become a physician:
I decided to become a physician when I was 17. My personal experiences with doctors had swayed me towards looking into medicine, and an anatomy class in high school further fueled my interest. At 17, I only had a vague idea of what it meant to be a doctor. I consulted an old family friend/physician and mentioned my aspirations. He told me a few words that I'll never forget. I want everyone to take the following words into great consideration:
“Only consider medicine if your heart is truly in it … if it is your passion … and you absolutely love it. Compassion and a love of science are essential. If you're thinking about getting into medicine for the pride, prestige, or money … you will be miserable!”
-Dr. James Shamloo, 2004
I have a great desire to make a difference in people's lives. I feel that helping others heal is a very fulfilling experience. Furthermore, I have an insatiable appetite for learning science. Therefore, medicine combined two of my biggest passions into an all-inclusive career. Medicine is my ideal job. Now I want you to stop and ask yourself … “Is medicine the ideal job for me?”
My experience at CSUF/Advice for Students:
CSUF is a great school with many unique benefits. Throughout my undergrad years, CSUF professors have provided me with much needed moral and academic support. The students at CSUF have also been very supportive and were always willing to lend a helping hand if I was having trouble academically or emotionally. Last but not least, the HP advising office guided me through the rough path of applying to medical school. Without the help of professors, students, and the HP advising office, my road to reaching my career goals would have been much more difficult.
I have a few more words for those of you considering medicine. Becoming a physician is a life-long commitment. The path of getting accepted into medical school is a tough one, and it only gets harder. As an undergrad, you must accrue hundreds of hours of meaningful volunteer experience. You need to shadow doctors, work in hospitals, and talk to healthcare professionals. Find out if medicine is really the career and lifestyle you're looking for. You must maintain a high GPA and receive a decent score on your MCAT. Research experience is important as well. Also, get to know your professors. Show them that you are a capable and intelligent individual. When they write your letters of recommendation, your relationship and impact on your professors will shine through. Medical committees will be able to tell if you're the real deal through the words of your professors. Much of the time, letters of recommendation can make you or break you. Make the effort and you will reach all your goals. Determine if medicine is really the route you want to take. Are you compassionate? Do you have an innate desire to help others? Do you love science? If you answered yes to these questions, you most likely have the qualities necessary to make a good physician.
I have faith in all of you future doctors and health professionals. One day, you will be performing surgery, prescribing medications, and changing the lives of your future patients. Don't let the difficult path discourage you. Fight on … and you will reach your dreams!
The video below was created by Kam Haghayeghi to highlight AltaMed AmeriCorps/HealthCorps while showcasing the "actors" decision to enter into the program and projects they've engaged in.
November 3rd, 2010
CSUF C/O 2010