One of my most poignant memories during medical school came one evening as I was studying for a neurology exam. By far one of the most challenging courses for me that semester, I had scored poorly on the midterm. In fact, I flat out failed. At that devastating moment in my academic career, I questioned my intelligence. Was I even smart enough to be in medical school? Did I belong here? Had I made the wrong decision? What was I doing wrong?
I had made a few mediocre grades in the past, but usually anything less than a solid B required reinforcements—study groups, tutors, whatever it took. As I sat at my table looking down at piles of notes, highlighters, diagrams and slides, I had no idea where to start and wanted to give up.
Then I thought, if I quit what will I do about SNMA? I was the chapter president. I had to go to the annual conference, right? Yes, and no. As I sat there wallowing in self-pity, I gave myself a severe reality check. This journey was not about me. It was about all the giants on whose shoulders I was standing, about the sacrifices that my parents and grandparents made for me to be there. It was about all the people who were definitely smarter than me, but weren’t afforded the opportunity to attend medical school. It was about making a commitment to the students behind me, to be able to share my story of how to persevere when times get rough. It was about finishing the course so I could be the voice of the silenced and the ignored.
I was SNMA. I am SNMA. So I, made a cup of coffee, picked up my highlighters and decided to pass the next test, and the next one, and the one after that. For me, SNMA reminded me of my purpose.
I have wanted to be a doctor since I was little, seven to be exact. I dreamt of being the kind of doctor that took care of babies, which at the time I thought meant I would be a pediatrician. Who knew, instead I would find the road to obstetrics and gynecology. I am currently practicing with a hospital-based group near Norristown, PA and I have served as a Professional Board Member for SNMA for the past four years. I knew SNMA would be a significant part of my life as soon as I stepped into my first meeting. The leaders modeled the medical student and rising physician that I wanted to be.
SNMA proved to be pivotal in all aspects of my training and I attempted to participate on all levels, local, regional and national. I served as chapter president, assistant regional director and on the national membership committee. We were greatly honored to host the regional conference at my home institution during my fourth year and I knew then it would only be a matter of time before I returned to serve the organization in a professional capacity.
AMEC is just around the corner, April 1-5 in New Orleans. Don’t miss your opportunity to attend 2015 AMEC and stay active with SNMA. Sunday, March 8th is the deadline for online registration, so register today!!! To get the AMEC group discount rate at The Hyatt Regency Hotel in New Orleans, make your hotel reservation by March 6th.
Look for upcoming “Grand Rounds” containing more information about member benefits, SNMA programs, alumni activities and much more. If you have an idea for “Grand Rounds,” email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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