Good morning my lovelies! Hope you all are doing well and staying safe. I have been blogging on and off for a few years now. I thought since I have not shared much about myself with you, why don’t do that. Today, I will tell you the story of how I got into Public Health. It was definitely not my first choice, but I am glad that I am in Public Health.
Growing up, I had a clear plan for my future and what I wanted from life. I had a notebook planning the detailed intricate of my future. Why? Isn’t it obvious? I was a control freak, who wanted to control every part of my life. I wanted to be a doctor since I can remember, and I had every goal planned. I wanted to go to college with a full scholarship (since my parents couldn’t afford to pay my tuition) and then go to medical school. So simply…but is it?
I almost fulfilled the first part of my goal. I did get a 90% scholarship to attend George Washington University. I had a full scholarship to other universities but GW was my first choice. In college, not have I learned about the typical educational lessons but some great practical lessons as well. It taught me that life can’t be under my control. I will need to let go of things in order to succeed. Struggling with that gave rise to the beginning of my generalized anxiety disorder (Stay tuned for a separate post about that), which led to so many panic attacks.
My dear lovelies! Each time my life did not go account to my plan, I had a major panic attack. I graduated with honors in Biology, a typical premed major. Little did I know that it will really limit my career choice if I didn’t go to medical school. Well, my dad did tell me to consider another major, but at that time my crazy teenager self thought my dad was against me. To tell you the truth, I had quite a decent MCAT (Medical College Admission Test) school but could have led to acceptance to any in-state schools, but the problem that I faced was that I was a Washington DC resident, and there was no DC in-state medical school. Hence, the competition was already tougher for me.
After graduation, I was put on the waitlist for medical school and what threw me out. I did not apply for work because my plan was to go to medical school, the fall after my college education. Hence, I was unemployed after graduation. When I applied for a job I did not get any job offers because all potential employers believed I will leave either for grad school or other further education.
They were right. Frustrated and angry, I decided to apply for a dual masters and medical school program. One thing I knew at that time is Biology will not take me anywhere. This was the very first time in my life I did not have an answer. I decided to do some research and dig deep and hard into my soul. Those were some very long months. My research led me to realize how much I loved taking this public health course in college. I told myself may be that would be a bonus to have as a background. Well, it will add to my medical degree. Hence, I started to apply to dual MD/MPH programs.
Of course, I heard back from graduate school first. So, I started my Master’s in Public Health Program in Epidemiology that fall. Boy, this program opened my eyes. While being a full-time student again, I was working part-time at Children’s National as a research assistant. I worked as a research assistant before but they were all lab jobs. This was the very first time I was working in clinical research. My work and school made me release how much I liked public health, which looks at the overall big picture. In medicine, I would have only been looking at individuals. That was the very first time I realized I did not know what I wanted to do in life. I ended up getting into medical school but by then I realized that medical school, after all, was not for me.
Dear lovelies, it was at time I realized that things will happen to us when we are ready for it, not before or after. I graduated with a MPH is epidemiology. I graduated with a full time job offer in my hand to work in clinical research at Children’s National. I graduated and became a full time clinical research professional. I ended up working at Children’s for 10+ years with a second graduate degree for free. I am working in clinical research as an analyst and I could not have asked for me.
What the past decade has taught me is ‘to always live in the moment’. I know it’s very easy to say but very heard to do. Those very words have set me free. I remember when I first started my training in Public Health I used to be addressed as Poop Inspect. I was not taken seriously. Even when I talk about how little we are prepared for an eminent pandemic, all of us public health professionals were laughed at. Now, I am longer called a poop doctor, but at what cost?
My lovelies! I still leave every moment in the moment and l love working in the public health program. I am so glad I have grown from my experience, which has led me to being who I am today. I still have anxiety disorder but have learned to manage it quite easily. Once thing life has taught me is that live in the moment and be happy with the way things are. Well, it could have been worse. I see the world as glass half full and “Miles to go before I sleep, and miles to go before I sleep”.
My dear lovelies! That’s a small glimpse in my life. I would love to hear how you came to be who you are now. Hope will love reading this post as much as I loved writing it.