You know those events that happen in your life, sometimes tragic and other times drastic, that shift your life in a new direction? I experienced one of those events on December 18, 2013. While it took me some time to recall the exact date in question, rest in sure that it was an event, if not day, that I will not forget.
This was the day that I decided, not by choice, to no longer be on the premed track at my university. For as long as I can remember, I wanted to be a doctor. I loved biology and learning about how the body works, but more than that, I loved helping people. As the years went on, the more I fell in love with the idea of getting my MD; or so I thought. Until December 18, 2013, I never looked at another profession, never gave a change of a career a thought; but being forced to do so has given me a different outlook on my future.
After an eye-opening experience last summer, I learned about global health and its importance in the public health sector. I eagerly wanted to learn and explore more about the newly growing global health field, but premed classes got in the way. So, while losing the dream of becoming a doctor at such a late stage in the game was at first a curse; I am now trying to see it as a blessing.
This past school year, I sought out to explore, and not just in global health. I explored in all avenues around me from different cultural events in my local city to different talks and topics on my campus. I even applied for an undergraduate research grant, which I never in a million years thought I would apply for, let alone win.
That’s where this blog comes in. This summer I will be traveling to Tanzania to pursue research on maternal health care. While there will be other students with me, and I will have supervision on the ground from one of my professors, for the first time in my life, I will be conducting a handcrafted research project in another country. More than that, I am bringing you all along for the ride. From excursions to the local health clinics to adjusting to local social norms, you will get an in depth look into my time abroad.
For the longest time I had blinders for all things premed; but now, I am truly venturing out into the world, and I am beyond excited.
Cheers to a new beginning in public health and to the best summer of my life!