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About Me

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I have aspirations to attend medical school and there are a great deal of factors that have fueled this dream. My mother married my step-father when I was eight and he gradually introduced me to various health practices as he is a fire-fighter and works triage in a local hospital. There were many times when I would go to the EMT and volunteer fire calls with him and I gradually learned the art of staying calm in high stress situation. I became intrigued with how the people that were transported to hospitals would be treated and how intricate the field of medicine can be.

A few years after my parents married, my second brother was born with psychological and physical problems. He was behind on every milestone and was not able to speak. To this day he is still significantly smaller in size than all his classmates. He visited many physicians and received various diagnoses, but nothing was truly effective until he was diagnosed with PDD-NOS (an autism spectrum disorder) and severe GI complications. Once this was realized, a team of physicians was formed that carefully formed a treatment plan and helped him attain developmental milestones. The work of the physicians altered his life and now our family gladly celebrates all the big and small milestones, such as his first day of school. This experience has inspired me to become one of the pivotal people that can help children like my brother (pictured on the right). 

Volunteering has been an important part of my life and has led me to wanting to enter the medical field. Through all of my traveling and volunteering experiences, I have learned the importance of working with underserved populations, such as in urban areas and extremely remote areas. I was born in a small town in Virginia that lacked access to quality healthcare and education, and after volunteering in areas like this, I understand how vital healthcare programs are to people in these areas. I understand how fortunate I am that my mother and I moved and I was able to get a quality education and healthcare services. I now am the first person in my family to graduate with an undergraduate degree. Serving these people that lack basic needs and resources is my goal. 

I love to travel, from Germany to Latin America I have traversed part of the globe and wish to continue exploring more countries. The most interesting part of traveling is experiencing other cultures and gaining understanding of other groups of people. Being immersed in other cultures and becoming knowledgeable on the social factors and history of other countries has made me more passionate about having cultural understanding, which is necessary in the medical field. I believe that all people, regardless of their race, ethnicity, gender, socioeconomic status, or any other factor, should have equal options and resources, but this equality often does not happen. Through my future career, I want to serve those who often don't have the same opportunities as everyone else. 

Author: Alisha Whittaker
Last modified: 12/7/2016 5:28 PM (EDT)