Hometown: Fayetteville, NC
Career interests: Internal medicine, Family medicine, Emergency medicine, Cardiology
Hobbies: Tennis, basketball, volleyball, running, spending time with family
Education: Undergraduate: East Carolina University (2020)
UNC Nash Emergency Medicine Medical Scribe
Before entering medical school, I took a total of two years off from school to enhance my medical experience. During those two years, I worked as a medical scribe at UNC Nash Emergency Department. Here I saw how large of a role social determinates of health play on the overall outcomes of a patient population. I unfortunately, also realized that emergency medicine could not be the answer to closing health disparities and reaching health equity across the social and racial spectrum. I realized that to make a change, physicians, and their patients, must take a proactive, prospective approach to health treatment. We cannot allow disease outset to take place and only then take measures to treat the pathology. In the emergency department I saw how we can be a nation that spends the most money on healthcare but never rank top in health or longevity. The emergency department environment showed me that no matter how many times a doctors perform the lifesaving miracle, it is in vain if that patient does not make an active change in their life. In this Emergency department, surrounded by a myriad of patient readmissions, I realized that preventive care is the answer to this nations’ health crisis. This experience made me want to be a physician that uses primary care, patient education and collaboration, and most importantly, preventive medicine to make a positive change in the health status of Eastern North Carolina residents, especially those that need help the most.
Emmanuel Family Church Youth Tutor/Mentor
As a pastor’s son I grew up in the church. Both my grandfather and father were preachers. Thus, I spent a large portion of my life marveling at their serves to others. From these men and many others in my community, I learned what leadership meant. From a young age, I understood that leadership meant serving others. Therefore, was an easy choice to serve the people of my church and community. I started volunteering at my church at an early age. If there was something I could do, I’d do it. That meant doing things like taking out the church trash, setting up chairs before service, and tending to the church’s garden. As I grew up I began to take more leadership roles like becoming a youth preacher, a youth tutor, and a community service leader. My church and community have shaped the person I am today. I hope to go back to this community and help address the health needs of my family and community.
Joy’s Soup Kitchen Volunteer
Volunteering in Greenville’s Joy’s Soup Kitchen once again showed me how much of impact social determinants of health have on a person’s/population’s health. It’s been well documented that nutrition and health are intricately correlated. In fact, recent literature on the human microbiome shows that the types of food we digest play a large role in the architecture of the microbial species in our gut. Highly processed foods, rich in conservatives and refined sugars, are often the worse types of food to ingest because they lead to significant system wide inflammation mediated by these gut microbes. Therefore, to eliminate inflammatory processes in our bodies we must adhere to a whole food, plant-based diet, which unfortunately is significantly higher in cost than its processed derivative. But what happens when you live in a community that has no Whole Foods store and the closest store is a Dollar General? Or worse what happens when you don’t have the financial resources to shop at a whole foods store? This corundum is what I witnessed while volunteering at Joy’s Soup Kitchen. Food insecurity is a huge part of health and thus a huge part of medicine. This informative experience made me realize that to be a good physician, one that can make a change, I must take a holistic approach.
ECU Undergraduate Research
I spent most of my undergraduate years in a research laboratory. I started early, right after my freshman first semester. My first research experience was in an environmental health science project as a lab assistant to a graduate student. I was tasked with “pupae enumeration” or counting the number of immature insects the graduate student caught in her set traps. After a semester of counting inspecting and setting up traps in the hot summer sun, I gained an immerse respect for the environmental sciences. However, I knew my heart was set on caring for patients not environmental field work. During my sophomore year I was fortunate to be invited to work in a cancer research lab at the Brody School of Medicine. It was an amazing experience, filled with learning new things every day. I still remember my animal handling training where I had to pick up rats that where the size of a toddler’s arm! Despite this training, I unfortunately didn’t get to do much other than wash lab equipment. Thus, I eagerly accepted a research project proposed to me by my organic chemistry lab instructor. That is how I ended up spending almost 3 years in Dr. Offenbacher’s chemistry research lab and I have been blessed with a publication.
My primary goal for my first year is to PASS. Though, I do want to pass with high marks. When I have established myself as a successful medical student, I hope to volunteer in Greenville’s free community clinics.