Motivation is the synergistic culmination of connections, beliefs, and experiences that drives us to exceed our limitations. At the most basic level, I am motivated by my love and respect for human life. I am driven by the fact that as humans, we can truly enjoy the experience of life. We put value and meaning to the people we meet and the connections we make. As humans, we all have something or someone who makes us happy. However, health issues often impede one’s ability to fully enjoy life. My goal is to pursue my passion to heal, educate, and connect with others so that they may continue to do what makes them happy.

Being raised as a second-generation immigrant in Belize has taught me many life lessons. My parents grew up with very few resources but worked hard to ensure my siblings and I have the best lives possible. Still, they remained an integral part of society by volunteering at community events, granting scholarships to kids in need, and supporting charities. They modeled a life of virtue, values, and morals. My parents’ story has been a constant reminder that through hard work, dedication, and compassion, I can attain the seemingly unattainable.

Although my parents encouraged me to go to professional school, they still saw the value in manual labor. During school vacations, I would work in my grandfather’s store. I did every job from lifting boxes in the warehouse to verifying financial records. These jobs have taught me how to overcome mental sets, be resourceful, and communicate with diverse people. Most of all, I learned humility. Even in his late life, my grandfather was in the store sweeping the floors and making sure everything was in order. He taught me to always remember where we started as we can easily lose ourselves in the success. We are not entitled to anything, but rather we are here to serve. This message is contiguous in my family.

My uncle was the first doctor I was able to shadow. As a family physician, he was presented with many chronic illnesses and addictions. He listened intently and exuded a sense of empathy and wisdom as he spoke. He explained that it is crucial to not only educate, but also to make them understand that they can overcome their battle. I learned that a doctor’s job has always been two-fold; to heal the body and educate the mind.

During my undergraduate career, I joined Timmy Global Health (TGH) with the hope of contributing to global equity in healthcare. My brigade traveled to Santo Domingo, Ecuador. Clinic days highlighted the importance of flexibility. We faced each day prepared for the expected and adapting to the unexpected. One day, a woman went into labor and another day, a woman presented with a gangrene foot and multiple cutaneous abscesses. When patients like these came in, teamwork was necessary to redistribute tasks and ensure that they get the care they need while still maintaining the clinic flow for the other patients.

Research is a major part of my college career. I have worked under the direction of Dr. Smith at the IU School of Medicine since August 2016. I am investigating CaMKK2 inhibition as a dual strategy to decrease the propensity of bone-metastatic prostate cancer and its treatment-induced bone loss. I had the privilege of presenting my work at the American Society of Bone and Mineral Research annual conference and working on a review article published in Frontiers Journal in Endocrinology. Due to the nature of my research, some of my experiments can span months at a time so errors can be unforgiving. Therefore, I have learned that it is crucial to plan and understand each step in an experiment. Most of all, critical thinking is essential. It is important to first think about how each reagent or drug will affect the results and to evaluate alternatives. Similarly, doctors must understand the actions of drugs and critically evaluate their decisions to best heal their patients.

While research has been my undergraduate passion, I long for a career that can pull together my interest in the human body, value for human life, and thirst for human connection; medicine. I believe that the skills and traits I have developed through my experiences will be a great addition to your medical school. My family has showed and instilled in me the importance of hard work, morality, and humility. My volunteer experience has revealed to me the power of flexibility, education, and human connection. Research has provided me with the mental preparation and tools necessary for a life in medicine. Most importantly, my philosophy provides an unwavering foundation on which to center my life’s work. All of these culminate in my motivation to improve myself in the hopes of providing quality care to others. I recall the words of a prayer I heard every morning in high school. “If I can make someone’s day just a little better, it will all be worth it.” If I can live this philosophy as a physician, I will be fulfilled and it truly will all be worth it.

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