Pictured above is St. George’s University in Grenada where I am attending medical school in the fall.
Today gave me clarity. I tell people that I am going to the Caribbean for medical school, and most of the time people ask the same question first. WHY?
At first, I was taken back by this question, almost offended. I don’t ask other future medical students why they chose their university, and most of the time, it’s not even on a damn island. So why does it seem that people are concerned or judgmental of the fact that I am going to an island for medical school?
The hardest lesson I’ve learned in life, is doing what is best for me (or if you are reading this you!) For some stupid reason, I feel like I owe people an explanation. I am what people call a “people pleaser.” This means that I carry guilt with me over the stupidest, tiniest things. Things that don’t matter in the long scheme of things.
But today, I choose me. I choose what is best for me. I applied to both American D.O. schools and St. George’s University. I got into St. George’s University first. After this, I didn’t continue with my D.O. application; meaning I didn’t fill out or pay secondary applications. Why?
February 24, 2017 (four months ago) I was accepted into the School of Medicine program at SGU. The moment took my breath away, as this is what I have been working for my entire existence. No one can take that from me.
To all of you who want to know why I chose SGU… Not only do I get the opportunity to become a physician, but I get to gain real life experience in the meantime.
I get to live in another country. I get to experience culture. I get to gain independence. I get to invest in myself. I’m getting out of my comfort zone by completely removing myself from my current environment, and creating a new home. I get to travel! I get to live on a freakin’ island (its astonishing to me that people can even ask why knowing that it is in the Caribbean). I get to study in tropical paradise! I am aware of the time commitment of medical school, however I can’t wait to spend my little free time exploring the island. Can you imagine how much more self-reliant one would become by choosing a school in another country without their loved ones? I look forward to having friends around the world! I can’t wait to study my ass off. A dear friend of mine once told me, nothing in life that is easy is ever worth it. So I happily accept this challenge.
Side note: I am not discrediting those who chose a Medical School in America, I am simply telling my story. There is a negative stigma associated with Caribbean medicine, even though they have to pass the same boards to practice in America, and they go through the same curriculum.
At the end of the day, there will always be people who don’t understand your desire to push yourself to greatness, whether that be maintaining three jobs or choosing Caribbean medicine. Stay away from those people; they do not respect your grind. Even going to Northeastern State University, people would belittle my grades in classes like organic chemistry that I worked my ass off for, because it wasn’t OU or OSU. These same people, definitely weren’t enrolled in organic chemistry.
I genuinely believe that every experience in life, makes you who you are. I have not taken the traditional path of medicine. But I believe that this experience will do nothing but make me a better physician with compassion and empathy. I look forward to the road less traveled.
Today, and for the rest of this journey in life, I choose me. This is what is best for me, and I will not be sorry or feel ashamed.