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This is my why: Medical students share career inspirations

Graduating medical students share their inspirations to pursue medicine.

The UT Southwestern Medical School Class of 2020 is just months away from achieving their professional dreams. Center Times Plus asked students to share what influenced their interest in medicine. Here are some of their stories in videos submitted by students. Congratulations Class of 2020 on Match Day!



[Andrew Tran] So, when people ask me, "Why medicine?" I always have a hard time sort of explaining myself. For me, it's always been this innate sense of service and of duty. When I was in college, I was a volunteer firefighter EMT and having the opportunity to be there and support people through the worst days of their lives, not just medically and physically but also emotionally, was something that I felt was very gratifying. At the same time, I also fell in love with the 911 community and the veteran community and how they take care of each other. So, it was very natural for me in medical school to pursue a military scholarship. My thought being that because these men and women sacrifice so much of their time and of their efforts to protect our way of life, it only made sense that someone should be able to be there for them to help support them when they need it the most. My name's Andy Tran, I'm a fourth-year medical student here at UT Southwestern. I'll be pursuing general surgery training at a military medical residency and this is my why.

[Rachel Shober] Okay, so, if I'm being totally honest, I always knew I was going to be a primary care doctor, specifically family medicine doctor. I was a middle-school teacher before medical school and I love connecting with people, getting to know students and families, and teaching, which are all really important aspects of family medicine. And then when I was in med school, I just loved every single one of my rotations and couldn't pick, so that was another clue. And finally, I've been really lucky to have a wonderful family medicine mentor for my entire life, my mom, who, in my unbiased opinion, is the best family medicine doctor there is. So, that is my why, human connection, teaching, constantly learning, variety, and I can't wait to be a family medicine doctor.

[Pamela De La Cruz Rivera] Hi, everyone, my name's Pam. I'm one of the graduating medical students at UT Southwestern. I chose medicine because I've always had a fascination with how things worked, including the human body. But I've also been somebody who always wants to make sure my family and friends are taken care of. And that made medicine a really natural choice for me. The reason I chose Ob/Gyn was because I really want to empower women and I want to do that through education. Breaking down some of the barriers regarding women's health. I believe if women are treated with respect in a health care setting, they will demand respect from other aspects of their lives. And I find it amazing that I'm going to be present for some of the most intimate, but amazing moments of these women's lives and I just can't wait to support them through those moments.

[Collin Buerger] Hi, my name is Collin Buerger. I'm a fourth-year medical student at UT Southwestern Medical School applying into anesthesiology. And this is my why. There's this idea that keeps coming to mind as medical school comes to a close that, whether it will be because of my personality or my background, my past experiences or training, that there will be a certain patient in a certain place at a certain time that I will be most uniquely suited to care for. Better than any other physician in the world and as far as my why goes, I have to believe that this will hopefully be true. As far as why anesthesia, I think there's great value and purpose in providing both comfort and safety to patients in the times that they are most in need of both of those things. And if I have to say, those are a few of my reasons why.

[Emmanuella Egbonim] I wanted to be able to heal people through the science and learn and perfect it over the years. I wanted to be able to be challenged every single day, and be surrounded by people who are constantly asking questions and constantly wanting to know more. Internal medicine, for me, is medicine at its core. And not only does it do all those things I said before, but it also provides a variety of practice styles in patient versus outpatient. I could also specialize if I want to do that. And, the best part is I can do it all in three years.

[Oswaldo Renteria] Hi, my name is Oswaldo Renteria and I'm a medical student at UT Southwestern. My interest in medicine began after being a patient at Children's Medical Center. As a first-generation college student, and growing up in southeast Dallas, I had little exposure as to what it takes to pursue a career in medicine. At that time, becoming a doctor seemed impossible. Instead I took a different path and became a high school math teacher in Oak Cliff where I taught for seven years. It was there that my students inspired me to not give up on my dream. They, too, had dreams of becoming doctors but, like me, had no role models to look up to. It was then that I decided to apply to medical school to become a role model for my students and for others whose dream may seem impossible. During my time at medical school, I had the opportunity to mentor high school students and get them involved in some of UT Southwestern's partner programs and as volunteers at the free clinics. Now, I am grateful for not giving up on my dreams and excited to enter the field of internal medicine, where I hope to serve and care for the underserved population and inspire others to pursue a career in medicine.

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