TYLENOL® Future Care Scholarship Recipients
I was initially attracted to the field of biomedical engineering because it allowed me to channel my creativity into healthcare advances. Although I have thoroughly explored a career in engineering, I have also had the privilege of interacting with and helping care for patients directly. These have been some of the happiest and most meaningful experiences of my life. I also believe that as a physician-scientist, I can more effectively contribute my efforts towards reducing healthcare disparities, while serving as a leader in my field working to implement policies and innovations that improve people's lives.
In my previous essays, I explored how my love of learning, eagerness to serve others, fulfillment through taking on challenges and solving problems, and interest in research formed the foundation for my decision to pursue a career in the healthcare industry, specifically as a physician. Medicine offers many opportunities to make a huge positive impact on the lives of countless people, whether through basic science, clinical research, policy work or clinical excellence in individual patient care. I'm excited to be on my way to tackling challenges and improving patient care as a future physician.
Due to wide health disparities, many marginalized communities do not have access to healthcare. Therefore, my greatest desire is to work in a team setting with other healthcare professionals to help serve those most in need. Physical therapy allows me to improve my patient’s quality of life, teaching them how to use their own abilities to make themselves stronger and self-sufficient. The ever-evolving nature of healthcare will allow me to provide new evidence-based care to my patients. Ultimately, I hope to take my skills to pro bono clinics within and outside of the U.S., fulfilling my desire to serve humankind.
As a student-athlete who has sustained multiple orthopaedic injuries, shadowed my own orthopaedic surgeon, and now having formally studied the human body in medical school, I realize that Orthopaedics is the best fit for me as a future profession. My own love of every aspect of sports, passion for athletic training and the mechanics of the human body, and the healing process are some of the reasons why I am drawn to this field. My desire to restore both optimal function and quality of life to patients is what drives me to continue my study of Orthopaedics.
Dentistry unexpectedly, yet immediately became a strong career option when I shadowed a dental practice out of someone else’s recommendation. Within the first thirty minutes of this experience, dentist's ability to devise creative and patient-tailored solutions for relieving pain inspired me intensely. The artistry of dental medicine was also attractive. Every detail of dental treatment involved functional yet aesthetically refined craftsmanship. The rare combination of artistry and scientific healing through which dentists improve oral and overall health is what makes this profession as exciting to me today as it did on my first day of shadowing.
Childbirth is the most fascinating feat that I have been privileged to be a part of, both as a volunteer doula and as a medical student. Uniquely positioned on the frontlines of healthcare delivery, I am determined to advocate for laws and policies that increase access to high-risk obstetrics for all pregnant women, regardless of their geographic location or socioeconomic standing. My commitment to obstetrics has been unshakeable for the past several years and I am very excited to soon become a physician in a specialty that helps achieve healthy pregnancies, healthy mothers, and healthy babies.
Confucius once said, “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life”. As a child, I intimately experienced the fragility of human life through personal loss. My struggle to navigate this period of adversity drove me to pursue a career in medicine to better understand health and disease, and extend compassionate care and support to those in need. As a medical student, I am fortunate to find that Confucius’ quote resonates with my pursuit of medicine, because I am so inspired, to one day, change our world for the better through medicine.
The core principles that drive the art and practice of medicine are compassion, education, and critical thinking. As a modest volunteer and medical student, I have often found that there are times when compassion is not only all I can offer, but also what a patient needs most. As a student, I discovered my passion for knowledge. Finally, I uncovered my inquisitive nature and knack for critical thinking through programming.
In the end, I sought a profession with lifelong learning where I can deliver meaningful, life-saving care. I decided to become a healer. I decided to become a doctor.
The impact and strain that medical emergencies place on families is a concept I grasped at a young age. In 1999 a 34-year-old mother of two suffered a stroke precipitated by a dissected vertebral artery. She survived, but struggles to this day with simple everyday task performance, frequent headaches, and hearing loss. This lady is my mother and her battle that began 17 years ago was my first recognizable exposure to the healthcare field. As years passed, I learned much more about my mother’s tragic ordeal and I decided that my future career would encompass medical services.
I firmly believe healthcare to be a human right. Any individual, regardless of background, should be able to receive quality and compassionate care when sick. My experience being a first-generation college graduate from a low-income immigrant family, while challenging, has provided me with valuable skills and insights into the plight of other disadvantaged communities - specifically immigrants, people of color, and those from low socioeconomic backgrounds. These communities tend to have limited access to resources, especially those related to health care. I see myself striving to bridge that gap as a medical student and future care provider.
As a child, I lived with my grandmother who suffered from complications due to diabetes, and I was not completely cognizant of how much the illness had affected her. Only as I grew up did I realize how much it had impacted her quality of life, as she had been in a vegetative state for a decade. When I became more involved in the medical field, I felt that my childhood experiences led to me to find meaningfulness and reward in becoming a health advocate, as I want to help empower others to improve their quality of life as well.
I’m inspired by community-based work to improve health equity. As I learned about community-based care and reflected on my own experiences, I realized that my own health care has been considerably influenced by the privileges afforded by my geography, socioeconomic status and community of support. I believe that all people have a right to quality health care and I believe that all healthcare workers, by engaging with the community, can play a role in achieving health equity. By pursuing a medical education, I have put my belief in health equity into action.
For me, one of the most positive aspects of the healthcare field as a profession is that it would present a life-long learning experience which would also benefit others. Healthcare is constantly evolving, as research elucidates new mechanisms of disease which subsequently leads to new drugs and treatments. This opportunity to work in a dynamic field is hugely attractive to me. But, just as important is the humanistic side of the job. The compassion and gratitude that a healthcare provider often receives from a patient is a feeling that I anticipate is unrivaled when compared to many other professions.
Touched by the stories of many of the patients while volunteering, I gained a deep appreciation for the bonds forged through patient care. When I hug young pediatric cancer patients goodbye after each visit, I am motivated to deliver the best possible treatment and patient care through a career in medicine. From volunteering in hospitals and underserved communities to leading medical health organizations and community service initiatives, I enjoy bonding with patients and serving our communities. As a future physician, I look forward to the opportunity to treat patients, relieve their suffering, and promote their health and well-being.
I have chosen to pursue a career in the healthcare industry because I believe that it is a very important and fulfilling field. As a physician, I will be able to make direct improvements on people’s lives and will go home every day knowing that I made a positive impact on someone. I also chose this field because it is flexible and gives access to many different opportunities. By working as a physician in the healthcare industry, I will be able to pursue all of my main passions: treating patients, conducting research, and eventually teaching in a medical school.
In the past six years, I had opportunities to explore in both basic and translational medicine, from developing a new immunotherapy to participating into a clinical trial. With a strong research foundation, I understand the benefits of using stem cells and immunotherapy to treat cancers and other genetic diseases. Apart from conducting research, I was involved in a couple scholar programs that have offered me insight into biopharmaceutical company operations and drug design. Therefore, I will apply my research findings into medical applications for beneficial impacts on patients.
My decision to pursue a medicine was spurred by firsthand experiences with healthcare adversities. Medical school has enabled me to combine my love of science with my desire to help underserved patients.
In college, I learned to challenge myself socially, academically, and emotionally. I was a leader in my roles as a Peer Health Advocate and as president of the Middle Eastern Student Union; I balanced three jobs with my research; volunteered within my community; and continued to support my family financially alongside my academic responsibilities.
I am a small-town native with strong aspirations. I cherish diversity and admire the beauty and uniqueness in everyone. My life’s goal is universal acceptance and equality for all walks of life, especially those in need. The healthcare industry interests me because it is a community of likeminded members whose goal is to foster a more open-minded and accepting society. I believe one day we can all come together as leaders through appreciation, networking, and unconditional support and contribute immensely to the success of healthcare diversity and equality for the greater good.
I am a global citizen who is responsible to the world, and providing healthcare, both at individual and at community levels, is my passion. From Africa to the middle east and North America, I have lived, conducted research, interned, and been involved in mission trips in different kinds of communities; from remote villages to some of the largest cities in the world. And I have seen that in order to cater for the health needs of communities, an economic system with integrated sectors is essential.
My background of early childhood in West Africa, as well as living in the poorest neighborhoods of Oakland CA, serves as a constant motivation to ensure that I use medicine as an avenue for social justice. In my community, I saw desperation, poverty and how circumstances weaken people’s spirit, dampen their optimism, and drain any sense of empowerment. I have spent the last 10 years working in different volunteer capacities at safety-net hospitals and community clinics that serve the medically underserved. My career will be dedicated to helping those living on the outskirts of society.
As a child and until now, I have continuously lived my life unselfishly giving and sharing knowledge. I studied and prepared for a career as an educator. However, after working alongside students with learning disabilities, I became intrigued and wanted to learn more about their conditions. Only through medicine, could I go beyond merely recognizing their disabilities and actually treat their medical conditions. I recognized that as a physician I could both care for and educate patients’ and their families. My desire is to deliver compassionate, patient centered care and to promote the health and well-being of my community.
I genuinely value the challenges and rewards of medicine. My greatest aspiration is to spend a lifetime helping to improve the health of underserved populations locally and globally. The early memory of my brother contracting malaria at a young age has helped fuel my passion. So far as a medical student, I have had diverse experiences that have culminated in a further appreciation for the science and art of medicine. As a physician, I will be working toward innovatively contributing to bridging gaps in healthcare delivery in order to make meaningful impacts at both the individual and the community levels.
Since childhood, I have always dreamed of serving my community and working towards helping others lead healthy lifestyles. Lack of access to care is a global issue that is still prevalent today despite advancements in technology and technique in the healthcare field. The lack of knowledge of proper dental hygiene often leads to detrimental health effects due to poor diet. Being able to educate young individuals and empower my patients with positivity have shaped my decision to pursue a career in dentistry. It will also fulfill my love of science, learning, and seeing people smile for many years to come.
I was at Washington Hospital volunteering when a patient asked me whether he could have a warm blanket and some water. I told the patient, “No problem, sir. Let me first ask your nurse whether you could have water, and I will bring the blanket and the water for you.” After confirming with his nurse, I returned to the patient and brought him both the items. The patient was immediately relieved and comfortably fell asleep. Seeing patients smile with their wishes fulfilled is what drives me to volunteer in the hospital daily and pursue a degree in medicine.
Growing up in Riverside County, I came to learn about the lack of access to proper healthcare and its' impact on the people around me. To this day, low-income families, including my own, have to travel long distances to obtain the care we need. Often having to miss work, parents struggle to maintain the well-being of their family without having to sacrifice their income. My interest in healthcare stems from observing this constant struggle, in hope that I can become the bridge between these underserved families and the proper healthcare they deserve.
My experiences as an intercollegiate athlete, non-profit founder, global health worker and researcher, Master of Public Health, and humanities major inspired me towards a career in medicine. I found that while I have the skills to help study and solve the health issues populations face, I lacked the clinical knowledge to bring healing to the individuals within. As I continue my journey through medicine, I hope to provide empathetic and compassionate care in the clinic as well as future change through research and public health interventions that will help improve all lives.
My passion for medicine stems from my core values of science and service, which started with volunteering at the hospital and doing experiments with my parents, and grew to conducting cervical cancer research, building a company around an all-natural mosquito repellent I invented, and writing understandable articles about medical advances. It is the privilege of caring for others, the challenge of complex conditions, and the drive to alleviate suffering that motivate me. As a future oncologist, I will continue combining my values of science and service by bringing research advances to patient care, while treating patients with compassion and empathy.
Like many students, I began medical school hoping to “help people” without understanding what that meant. My third year of medical school, I had a patient with dementia and a bowel obstruction who was constantly agitated. When I came in she appeared uncomfortable but by the end she was laughing, telling me about her mother’s thick Polish accent. On my last day taking care of her, this patient asked her husband to write down my name because she wanted me to be her doctor. It is experiences like these that remind me each day why medicine is right for me.
My aunt passed away with Cancer when I was in High-School. At a young age, I realized how important a good health care provider was for both the emotional and physical wellbeing of a patient, and the wellbeing of their family. As a dentist, my primary goal is to provide my patients with the highest quality of care, to educate and empower families to better their oral health outcomes and to treat every patient with kindness and warmth. As Francis Weld Peabody said, “the secret of the care of the patient is in caring for the patient.
Throughout my childhood, I had a medical file thicker than a stack of dictionaries. I was in frequent pain due to anything from broken bones to mysterious inflammatory conditions. However, it was volunteering at a homeless shelter which made me realize that many people live in constant discomfort from treatable conditions and appreciate my ability to access healthcare. As I learned more about disadvantaged populations, I noticed a large gap between their healthcare needs and the little treatment they received. Through my exposure to underserved populations, I became passionate about advocating for concrete actions to improve healthcare access
I was born with innate compassion that naturally led me towards the medical field. I hated how I felt when other people were in pain. Even in the midst of a rivalry hockey game against my competitive brothers, if one was injured I dropped my stick and held them until they felt better. This compassion drove me to the medical field, and thankfully my medical education has given me more sophisticated tools to help people find relief from their ailments. My nature may not have suited me well in a different field, but thankfully it helps me thrive in medicine.
My life experiences, ranging from accompanying my family during my grandfather’s medical crisis to working in healthcare clinics both domestically and abroad, have convinced me that working in healthcare is my life calling. The ability to develop meaningful relationships while helping others improve their health is a great gift, but I also recognize the incredible responsibility that it carries. To this end, I hope to use my career in healthcare to expand access to safe, high-quality care for everyone, especially our society’s most vulnerable populations.
When I began seeking an alternate career, I thought of my mother. I have admired her 25-year service as a Nurse Practitioner in a rural clinic. She provides comprehensive healthcare to the members of her community, regardless of financial or cultural backgrounds. With her career as inspiration, I began looking into healthcare fields that were technical and personal. Dentistry combines my love of engineering with my desire for meaningful work. Knowing I will be able to spend every workday for the next 30+ years improving the lives of my patients means more to me than any other professional perks.
After my parents divorced when I was three, I was raised by my Chinese grandparents in the countryside in Shenyang, China. I still remember my grandmother plugging the shower drain so that we could continuously recycle the water during shortages. Because my grandfather did not have access to healthcare services when he was growing up during the Cultural Revolution, he passed away when he was only 65. My experiences living in China strengthened my desire to help underserved families, like my own, who are not fortunate enough to see physicians.
Dentistry is more than just drilling and taking out decay; dentists are mentors, teachers, advocates, leaders, artists, and world-changers. I want to use my knowledge and craft to give back to people and communities I love. I want to prevent pain, help people in need, and inspire others as I’ve been inspired. Ultimately, the healthcare industry is about serving others. Whether though a friendly interaction during a regular appointment, traveling around the world to help those less fortunate, or teaching a future dentist, I want to make a positive impact on my community, one smile at a time.
The smile is the universal sign of happiness and humanity. The ability to relieve pain, calm fears, and restore aesthetics to make eating and being social easier is an incredible ability. I am not only committed to giving thorough diagnoses and quality treatment, but also to focusing on education and prevention of dental disease in society. Oral disease affects systemic health, and I want to care for the whole patient. As a dentist, I love that I can combine my passion for people, science, and working with my hands to serve others and give more reasons to smile every day.
Her eyes stayed strangely dry as she described her miscarriage in the city hospital where staff attempted to use frozen chicken to stem her bleeding. She was callused to death. Living through multiple wars she had seen it all. But now it was her own child, and the callused attitude gave way to a brutal numbness. I have chosen a career in serving the forgotten communities in the world through the avenue of medicine for women like my friend. Across the world and in our own cities there are pockets of the population that are desperate for care.
Growing up in San Francisco’s Chinatown, I encountered many obstacles that opened my eyes to the issues that the underserved face. From abuse and racism to sexual assault and violent robberies, the obstacles adversely affected my mental and physical health. My experiences ignited my passion for reducing health disparities and improving the quality of care for minorities. Throughout my education, I took courses on ethnic and gender studies while volunteering in underserved communities. My experiences working with a pediatrician on a pediatric obesity prevention project confirmed my desire to merge public health and medicine as a primary care physician.
Although my grandfather underwent a successful double lung transplant, he ultimately passed from pancreatic cancer years later. I will not forget the moment when the surgeon told my grandfather his tumor was inoperable. He spoke with a comforting demeanor and air of compassion. He was not acting as death’s enemy, but rather death’s ambassador. Being a healthcare provider grants me the ability to cure, but more importantly provides me with the opportunity to comfort patients and families in their most vulnerable moments.