For the first part of this project, you will need to locate and interview a person who holds the career you plan to pursue. Remember, many professionals are extremely busy and you may need to schedule this interview several weeks ahead of time â€“ do not wait until the last minute! You should include information about the interview in your reflection paper articulating why you have chosen a certain career path, how it is a realistic and attainable goal, and how you plan on attaining that career goal.
Interview Project with a Family Medicine
Florida International University
Interview Project with a Family Medicine Resident
For this project, I wanted to interview someone who was starting off their career as a
physician. To me, the most representative candidate would be a family medicine physician
resident because this is a specialty that I am extremely interested in. Although a resident does not
have the same experience as a doctor who has been practicing medicine for years, I wanted
advice from someone who has gone through the process of becoming a physician relatively
recently. Since the person I interviewed wanted to keep her identity anonymous, I will be
referring to her by her initials and titles: Dr. S.G DO, MPH.
——————————————–Start of Interview————————————————-Me: Thank you so much Dr. S.G for finding the time to have this interview with me, I really
appreciate it. I want to first start the interview by asking you some questions about undergrad, is
Dr. S.G DO, MPH: Yes, of course. Do you have anything in mind?
Me: I know that during undergrad you majored in psychology. This is usually not considered a
traditional major, especially during the time you went to med school. Did you find it that it was
harder to adjust to the curriculum of med school as a psychology major? In a grander aspect, how
was your experience as a psychology major pursuing medicine?
Dr. S.G DO, MPH: Umâ€¦ I will be honest with you. Medical schools didnâ€™t really care about
the fact that I was a psych major, so thatâ€™s good. On the other hand, I feel like I personally
struggled with being a psychology major because of my peers. There was always this unspoken
rule that people who majored in psychology were just trying to find an easy major and that we
wouldnâ€™t really be considered as competitive or knowledgeable as those who majored in biology
or chemistry. I hope that the stigma has gone away now, especially with schools being more
open to diversity, but I definitely did experience some imposter syndrome because of the
criticism I got from my peers. As for the curriculum aspect, I donâ€™t think that itâ€™s much of an
issue. I know that I felt like I had to work a bit harder in some of my classes just because
psychology doesnâ€™t really give you an exposure to classes such as microbiology or biochemistry
and genetics. Regardless of that, everyone in your class is truly learning the subjects in depth for
the first time, so youâ€™ll bound to get a bit lost throughout the way.
Me: That is a good point of view because undergrad knowledge could only get you so far during
medical school. I have a bit of a personal question, but were there any real challenges that you
experienced in your journey?
Dr. S.G DO, MPH: (laughs) I think I wouldnâ€™t be human if I didnâ€™t have any challenges.
Everyone is going to have some challenges, especially in this difficult journey. Becoming a
doctor is no easy task, and you should not be afraid of failure thatâ€™s for sure. The first time I took
the MCAT, I was devasted in myself. The score I got was nowhere near where I wanted to be, so
I questioned my capability of becoming a doctor. I took it for another try and thankfully my
score went up, but it was still not considered a competitive score. I didnâ€™t think that I would get
into med school with it, but I actually found one that I loved and was willingly to give me an
interview and a place in their program. Have you taken the MCAT yet?
Me: No, not yet. I plan to take it in a year and a half.
Dr. S.G DO, MPH: Thatâ€™s good! Let me just tell you that your score doesnâ€™t define you nor is it
an indication of how great of a doctor youâ€™ll be. I wish I had someone who told me that when I
was in your shoes. The same thing happened to me with USMLE, (laughs) maybe Iâ€™m just not a
great test taker. Anyways, despite my non-competitive scores, I still found a medical school that
wanted me, and I was able to match into my first choice for residency. The best thing you could
do is just show them your personality and how passionate you are about becoming a doctor
because scores arenâ€™t everything.
Me: Now that you mention it, how has the residency program process been for you?
Dr. S.G DO, MPH: Crazy (laughs)! Honestly, itâ€™s been a lot of craziness. For starters, I had to
move from Miami to Massachusetts in the middle of a pandemic, which was hectic. Some
sessions have had to be done remotely, which I donâ€™t prefer but itâ€™s for everyoneâ€™s safety. I also
got married recently, so finding a balance between my relationship and my intern year has been
difficult. I hope to get used to the process soon and figure out what can work best for us and me.
Me: Congrats on your marriage! And would you say that Intern year has been the most
challenging aspect of your journey so far?
Dr. S.G DO, MPH: Most definitely. I suffer from chronic pain and other health issues that make
it more of a difficult task for me to work the long demanding shifts of an intern, but I push
Me: How long would you say your shifts are?
Dr. S.G DO, MPH: Well yesterday, I worked from 5:30 A.M. to 7:30 P.M. Itâ€™s crazy hours, but
the whole time I felt this thrill and purpose that I canâ€™t even complain. I feel right at home when
Iâ€™m doing rounds and working with patients. Itâ€™s a scary home though because sometimes I still
canâ€™t believe that I got here (laughs), but Iâ€™m glad I did.
Me: I totally agree with you, itâ€™s scary to know that one day Iâ€™ll hopefully be in your shoes. Do
you have any last words or advice youâ€™d like to say before we go? I know you must have a lot to
do, so I donâ€™t want to take up more of your time.
Dr. S.G DO, MPH: No worries, I cleared my schedule for you and youâ€™ll definitely be in my
shoes one day, youâ€™ll see. I think the advice I can give you is to find a specialty you actually
love. Family medicine and PCP doesnâ€™t pay as much as other specialties, but I rather do what I
love than being in it for the money. Itâ€™s been a long process, so might as well do something that
makes your heart and life complete. As for getting through the actual journey itself, remind
yourself that failure is okay. Failure is what is going to make you more dedicated to your work
and help you learn from your mistakes. Becoming a doctor is a lot of hard-work and dedication,
but thereâ€™s nothing more rewarding than working with patients and knowing that you could have
an impact on their lives. Just make sure that youâ€™re a compassionate doctor who loves her
patients and will go beyond for them, thatâ€™s what will set you apart from the rest.
Me: Thank you Dr. S.G, I really appreciate your kind and inspiring words. It means a lot that
you gave me this opportunity to interview you.
Dr. S.G DO, MPH: Of course, Yeileny, itâ€™s been a pleasure. As another first-generation student
and doctor, I get how much harder it is for us because we donâ€™t have the guidance of those
around us. Anytime you have a question, just reach out to me and Iâ€™ll try to help.
———————————————End of Interview————————————————–I have decided to become a physician because it is the one thing that sparks some much
joy and purpose in my life. Nothing makes me more emotional and fulfilled than knowing that
one day I can form relationships with patients from all ethnic and cultural backgrounds. I do not
want to be a doctor who just treats the illnesses and diseases, but instead I want to treat the
patients with those health issues and make sure that they feel safe and loved under my care. This
is why I want to go into primary care with a MED/PEDS specialty or family medicine like Dr. S.
G, DO/MPH. I want my patients to consider me like family and to hopefully have patients who
trust me enough to treat their whole family, which would be such an honor to me. Becoming a
doctor is a realistic and attainable dream, but it is also a long and difficult one. Itâ€™s a sacrifice one
has to make to ensure that the dream can become realistic and attainable, but itâ€™s worth it in my
opinion. With the help of financial aid, loans, and service, I can make my dreams come true.
Aside from the financial aspect of it, I plan on finishing my undergrad studies within the next
two years and get my psychology degree. Afterwards, I have been leaning towards taking a year
off and working just to save some money while focusing on volunteering and getting more
clinical exposure. Hopefully, after that year, Iâ€™ll be in a med school that I love and working hard
to become the best student physician I can be.
As for the reflection of this course, I think that it has been extremely resourceful. I have
never really thought about what you could do with a psychology degree aside from being a
therapist, but this class has expanded my horizons. I never knew that becoming a behavior
analyst was an option that I could have, especially with how easy FIU has made it to get the
certification. I feel like if I wasnâ€™t so set on becoming a doctor, I would have probably benefitted
more from this class. Itâ€™s obvious to say that my career plans have not changed after taking this
course, but through it, I have felt more passionate and inspired about my dreams of becoming a
doctor. Another interesting benefit of this class was when we learned about research
opportunities located on FIUâ€™s page, which is an experience that Iâ€™m really interested in and will
be applying for next semester. I also found it extremely helpful how the instructor of this course
would leave comments and suggestions under discussion posts, and as a result, I will also be
taking ASL 1 next semester. I think that knowing ASL is an important feature more doctors and
future doctors should have because it makes healthcare more accessible to those in the deaf
community. Lastly, the next step that I need to take is reaching out to my pre-med health advisor
and asking him for advice on how to choose med schools. Although I am still two years away
from applying, I want to create a prospective list of schools that Iâ€™d be interested in applying to,
but I need advice that only my advisor could give before I do research on my own.
Do, S.G., (Medical Doctor) in discussion with the Author, January 2020.
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