Wednesday, January 11, 2006

An interesting idea

While I was filling out my AMCAS (American Medical College Application Service), I realized that I was repeating myself. I also had to write one of my letters of recommendation. I knew I needed to look at myself from another point of view, so I emailed my friends and family and asked them these questions:

1. Why do you believe that I will be good doctor?
2. What qualities do you think I have that will make me a good doctor?
3. Can you give me an example of a time when you have seen me use the qualities, or a conversation or anything that you recall that would lead you to believe that I will make a good physician?

I received answers that made me cry. Read on....

Denise Dollar, cousin. Austin, TX. 27 Oct 2005.

I think you will be a good doctor, most importantly you are very smart and very quick in coming to conclusions/resolutions. I have asked you numerous times to help me on those silly IQ tests and you are quick on your feet to find the solution. That quick thinking, paired with knowledge, will help you to succeed in emergency situations.

Good qualities. Like I said, quick thinking, vast knowledge, terrific social skills. Have an ability to make people laugh and feel as ease when its most important. I think this is important when people are dealing with their health, in nervous/anxious situations.

You have always been one to set your goals and to achieve those goals. You are very responsible with everything you put your hands on. I have heard the grapevine that you were a real trooper during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. My dad said that you were everywhere, getting the word out of what people needed, what was going on, news, relief that people needed. I think you showed your true colors during that time. Everyone in your family is extremely proud of you!

Rob Simpson, brother. Milton, FL. 27 Oct 2005.

You will be a good doctor because people will need you to be. They will count on you to heal them, and make them whole. But before surgery orany practice, they'll want you to make them whole and a different level. A comfort and trust level. Your general love and want to help people will reach out to others, and give them all the assurance they will need.>What qualities do you think I have that will make me a good doctor?

The good quality of a doctor is not measured by IQ points, or any schoolthey attended. It is their continued desire to learn and become better,all in the effort of saving lives and healing others. You are too much of a perfectionist to let yourself slide in the education department. You'll never stop achieving. And that can mean saving a life some day.

You're my sister. No specific time is needed. My entire life I've always counted on you to give me advice, even when I didn't like the advice. I trust you. I'd trust you as my doctor, too. Faith and healing; trust and hope all go hand in hand. When all four march together, a glorious result is the fruit of their labor... Life. Never forget this.

Chris Fondren, cousin. Fort Worth, TX. 27 Oct 05

I think you would make a terrific Doctor for a lot of different reasons. You are a loving, caring, giving person with a wonderful attitude. Every time I have been around you I have always noticed that you are in a great mood and you don't let things get to you like a lot of people do. Look how strong you were through Katrina! Most people would have totally fell apart but you stayed strong and cared for those around you that could not care for themselves. You enjoy doing things with friends and family and you really enjoy doing things with younger children. I don't know what field of medicine you are going to choose, but I think you would make a great Pediatrician (hope I spelled that right). You are dependable and get the job done that you are given in a timely manner.

Mark Bell, pop. Long Beach, MS. 27 Oct 2005.

1. I believe you will be a good doctor because you are caring and understanding and have a strong compassion for the human life .

2. You are hard working and are able to make spilt decision while at the same time you are able to stop and prioritize the situation and react accordingly.

3. You use these qualities at your job at the hospital. The first one to work over the first one to work for others. When ever one of our friends have been in the hospital such as mel you've always went and checked on them if nothing else just to say hi and give them the comfort of knowing that someone they know is there working in the hospital.
Which from experience I know means a lot because when your somewhere strange and you feel alone and you see a smiling face that you know can make you feel comfort.

Maura Roby, friend. N. Richland Hills, TX. 27 Oct 2005.

Why do you believe that I will be good doctor? Because you are kind and caring and concerned with others needs and helping others. You are an intelligent woman with limitless possibilities.

What qualities do you think I have that will make me a good doctor? Same as above. Also, you have a manner/disposition that puts others at ease / makes them feel comfortable with you and talking to you.

Can you give me an example of a time when you have seen me use the qualities, or a conversation or anything that you recall that would lead you to believe that I will make a good physician? Honestly, your care for animals expresses the depth of your character and the extent of your willingness to care for all creatures, large and small, human or animal. Anyone who cares for animals like you do can definitely be my doctor any day.

Erik Quiroz, friend. Bay St. Louis, MS. 27 Oct 2005.

I belive that you will make a good doctor because you have strong qualities thatare needed for that position. For example, you are well organized, highly trusted, and seem to have a born, "bed-side" manner that puts you well above other physicians. You are blessed with a personality that caters to all ande seem to have a keen knowledge to maintain a strong perserverance when the"negatives" over ride the "positives". Besides receiving high scores on the MCAT, I think that your previous experience in the medical field has benefited you in more ways than you can imagine.

Greg Mac, friend. Woolmarket, MS. 28 Oct 2005.

You are dedicated to what you do. You are very smart and not easily overwhelmed at all. You apply yourself totally and don't give up on things. These are all admirable qualities. Just the reality of the course load you took on a semester after semester basis shows how far you are willing to go to succeed. A lack of devotion would indicate to me a lack of desire to be the best possible. You obviously are not lacking!!!

Jenny Kuykendall, friend. Bay St. Louis, MS. 28 Oct 2005.

why you would make a good doctor -- you truly care about people and the people you work for. When talking about people at the hospital and such you always see sympathetic, which to me is a great thing for a doctor to be. Who wants as doctor who doesn't care (or seam to) and who cant be understanding. I think you would be one of the few doctors who would have wonderful bedside manners, and to have a doctor that is nice and caring, I think would make the entire situation more comfortable for the patient. Plus you are definitely smart engough to be a good doctor, and would do well with the academic side of it and as for examples as to why you would be a good doctor... Just listening to you talk about the different people you would meet at the hospital is a great example, you just sound as if you truly cared about them and about what was going on with them... Also staying at the hospital during katrina is another great example. . . You were willing to work through a major hurricane (I don't know what all you were doing there) but I am sure you helped out and worked and what not. . . That is a true sign that you love that sort of stuff and would be dedicated to it...

Shanna Wood, young cousin. Fort Worth, TX. 28 Oct 2005.

Sunny u will make a good Dr. cuz I have watched movies of when u were little and even if u hated the person cough cough jeremy jk u would help them up if someone is hurting u try to help them u have always been a nurse. you would also cuz I think that u probably haven't wanted this more than anything in your life even threw katrina u staid at the hospital and u wrapped dead bodies and u never gave up. Plus to keep me and u awake on the way to Disney world u would tell me a lot about science like why we breath oxygen and stuff. Plus u said when u died u wanted to dedicate your body to science. So u seem like a good Dr. In life ....And death

Quinton Scott, friend. Syracuse, NY. 28 Oct 2005.

Why do you believe that I will be good doctor?
I believe you will not be a good doctor. You will be a GREAT doctor! Your drive to better yourself is apparent in everything you do. Couple that drive with your intelligence and compassionate nature, and you've got someone that I'd entrust my life with.

What qualities do you think I have that will make me a good doctor?
Compassion. Cool, calm and collected, under pressure. Whilst I think that you have a great analytical mind, your compassion is your greatest asset.

Can you give me an example of a time when you have seen me use the qualities, or a conversation or anything that you recall that would lead you to believe that I will make a good physician?

My recent trip back to Mississippi is the prime example. I was so worried and nervous about meeting up with you, but...Five minutes into talking with you...And I was completely at ease. You have this nature that makes me feel right at home. It wasn't just nostalgia. It wasn't just being back in the South. Even during our time at the Grand Casino, I was able to talk to you about anything...Go get 'em, sweetness! YOU CAN DO IT! :-)


Tuesday, January 10, 2006


06 Aug 05 - BS in Biological Science from Southern Miss
20 Aug 05 - MCAT
02 Oct 05 - Submitted AMCAS
03 Oct 05 - Email from UMC asking to mail my non-verified AMCAS*
12 Oct 05 - AMCAS Complete
26 Oct 05 - Invited for interview via email*
28 Nov 05 - File complete at UMC
02 Dec 05 - Interview*
04 Jan 06 - Acceptance via email*
07 Jan 06 - Acceptance letter via snail mail

*You can view the communications e-mails in another post

Monday, January 09, 2006

MCAT Score & Prep

24 M
7 Physical
9 Verbal
8 Biological

Test Date: 20 Aug 2005

Opinion of test: (written the day after I took the test)
From BJ

PS wasn't bad. I found it to be more gchem than physics. I felt the most confident in the section. VR started off easy and got worse. I ran out of time, and I ended up guessing on the middle passage (more than 8+ questions. I skipped this one on purpose becuase it had the latest copyright date 2004, I think. I was hoping that it would be the experimental!) BS was harder than I expected. Only 2 passages and a few discretes had orgo.

Note: Here is a good website that tells you about picking the experimental passage. I don't know how accurate it is, but I think about this guys ideas often: Experimental passages.

Test center was good, but someone's telephone started going off for the last 30 minutes of bio. It borke my concentration!

I have this bad feeling that I will be taking it again in April.

Testing Center: University of Southern Mississippi
Conditions: Very Good. The room was large and there were an above average number of students taking the test according to the proctor. The proctors were from the USM Testing Center and were knowledgeable about the test and conditions. Everything went smoothly. The room had stadium seating with long tables and attached, swing-out chairs. There was usually at least one empty seat between each student. Plenty of room to stretch out. Testing room was void of outside noise. Testees were required to place all belongings in the front of the room, but someone's cell phone starting going off during the last section.

Preparation: This is sad. I didn't really study as much as I should have. (Edit - Just so you know how I think - I never feel like I study enough. I can study for three days straight, ace an exam and still not feel like I studied adequately!)

Kaplan Course (Nov 03 - Apr 04) New Orleans, LA
I paid $2000 for the Kaplan Course, but found the classroom lectures to be boring. I stopped attending the lectures and began viewing the lectures via computer through the online portion of the course. The books were too meaty to go through without being put to sleep. It was like studying with a whole text book. I did like the instructor. He gave really good tips. I also really liked the flashcards.

Here are some scores:
19 Kaplan Diagnostic
21 Kaplan Test 1 (7P 6V 8B)
I didn't take any of the rest of the exams.

Opinion - Only take a classroom course if you are not motivated or organized enough to study on your own. The program will give you structure. If you really want the materials and have a high speed internet connection, for $1600, you can get all of the materials but not the classroom portion. You get to view the online tutorials and the online "mini-tests." Plus, you can get the classroom lecture via internet by a teacher that gives the best lecture possible. I found that my teacher often skipped parts of the lecture, but the online version goes over the entire lesson throroughly.

You can buy all of the examkracker MCAT materials for under $400 on This includes Audio Osmosis, MCAT Complete Study Package (6th ed.), 101 Passages in VR, 1001 questions MCAT Biology, 1001 questions MCAT Chemistry, 1001 Questions MCAT Organic Chemistry.

Opinion: I loved this method. They even have a 10 week study guide available that outlines how to use the study materials. I didn't make it through the 10 week study plan. I used it mostly for VR, and it did help me to raise my score 3 points in the last few weeks before the test. The Audio Osmosis has some cheesy points, but I felt like it helped me remember because it was so cheesy.
Go here and take the sample test. If I had to do everything over, I would have purchased all of the tests and used them along with examkrackers. I thought this was a great value. I did take the sample test, but I don't remember my score.


BCPM - GPA 3.84
(Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Math)

AO - GPA 3.88
(All Other)

Overall GPA 3.86


Freshman 3.67 (30 hours)
3.67 BCPM (12 hours)
3.67 AO (18 hours)

Sophmore 3.81 (27 hours)
3.58 BCPM (12 hours)
4.00 AO (15 hours)

Junior 3.98 (40 hours)
3.97 BCPM (31 hours)
4.00 AO (9 hours)

Senior 3.90 (42 hours)
3.88 BCPM (33 hours)
4.00 AO (9 hours)

AMCAS - Disadvantaged Statement

I grew up in a single family home where I was required to care for my younger brother while my mother worked an evening shift during the week. We received government aid on a few occasions, but my mother was proud and stubborn and would have rather worked hard every night than receive government aid for our family. My mother's dedication provided my work ethic. I began working and contributing to my family's income days after my 16th birthday, and I have never stopped.I never knew if the area where I resided was medically underserved. We did not have health insurance, and I knew that going to the doctor was just another expense we could not afford. When you were ill, you stayed at home with some medicine from the drug store. Luckily, we were seldom ill other than chicken pox or strep throat, but on these few occasions when I did go to the doctor, I was enamored with what a magical place it seemed to be.

Our financial situation remained unimproved by the time I began to attend college. I worked at least 30 hours per week while living at home and driving over 140 miles to college every day. It has taken an immense amount of fortitude to continue to make this drive, work, study, do outside research, and participate in extracurricular activities for the past 5 years, while maintaining a high GPA.

AMCAS - Activites

Community Service/Volunteer - Medical/Clinical
Volunteer Activity Coordinator
Jun 00 - Dec 02
5 hrs/week

Atria Assisted Living Home was a horizon widening experience. Where the resident's unique perspective taught me that aging is often only a physical ailment as they maintained a devil-may-care attitude that life is short and we needed to enjoy it whatever our age prevailed. I helped implement several programs between Atria's residents and student organizations to provide ice cream socials, "senior" prom nights, hula parties, and many bingo nights. I participated in health care activities, exercise classes, and walking "races." I read to many of them, listened to records with some, and watched an artist who learned to paint with his left hand after his right was paralyzed by a stroke. I had my first experiences with death while volunteering at Atria. I also had my first experience with dementia and Alzheimer's. A disease I would later know personally as it slowly claimed the mind of my grandmother, throughout my college career, until her death shortly before graduation. Like a flower receiving the gardener's tender care, I can think of no other experience where I received so much more than I ever gave. I took away lifetimes of advice, knowledge, and lore shared by these people. They warmly accepted me, and I benefit still from the memories of their love and concern for my future.


Biomedical Science Society Officer
Aug 00 - Dec 02
3 hrs/week

I am proudest of my service in the Biomedical Science Society where I was selected Freshman Liaison my first year and Vice-President as a sophomore. Our mission was to introduce students to different careers in the biomedical sciences. As Freshman Liaison, it was my responsibility to encourage freshman to come to our meetings and introduce them to the staff and professors who would be teaching their upper level courses. As a Vice-president, it was my responsibility to select speakers for our meetings, post flyers, and create a monthly newsletter. Arranging speakers for meetings was a difficult task often entailing learning a great deal about the speakers and their research in order to introduce them to the group. I created a program where we adopted needy elementary school children, and members took turns helping with homework, bringing them to student athletic events, or playing soccer or football with them after school. I organized a drive to provide toys for a needy family at Christmas. The toy drive became more and more successful over three years. The department held wrapping parties, and students and faculty would spend an afternoon watching movies with a holiday theme and wrapping gifts for hours. I was also responsible for coordinating activities with Atria Assisted Living Home.


Biomedical Science Society Philanthropy Award
May 01
0 hrs/week

My service in the Biomedical Science Society enabled me to receive the Department of Biomedical Science Philanthropy Award in 2001 in recognition of my accomplishments over two years with Atria Assisted Living Home. I was successful in implementing several programs between Atria's residents and student honor/service organizations. The work with Atria enabled students to help others, give of themselves, and enter into caring relationships with others. It developed an environment of collegial participation among students, faculty, and the community. It increased the civic and citizenship skills of students. It allowed Atria to better serve their clients and benefit from the infusion of enthusiastic volunteers. It also exposed students to societal inadequacies and injustices and empowered students to remedy them. I am proud that after four years many of these events still take place.


Artistic Endeavors
Aug 01 - Aug 05
3 hrs/week

Organic chemistry, the bane of all but a few dedicated science majors, forced me to learn outside of my comfort zone. On my first day of class, the professor instructed everyone to raise their hand. He asked that everyone who had ever played a team sport to put their hand down. He then explained that organic chemistry was like playing sports, you have to practice in order to be really good at it. Then, he said that the analogy also holds true for anyone who has ever played a musical instrument. It takes dedication and practice to be a good musician. So, he asked everyone who had ever played an instrument to put their hand down. Out of the 60 plus people in my class, I was the only one with my hand still raised, and I knew I was in over my head. That very week I bought a violin and started practicing. I am not very good at it, but I play at a couple of the nursing homes in Gulfport when I work the holidays. I have, however, decided there is a strong likelihood I will master the violin before I completely understand organic chemistry.


Paid Employment - not Military
Memorial Hospital in Gulfport
Mar 02 - Jan 06
30 hrs/wk

I began working in the Cardiology Department of Memorial Hospital in March 2002 and act as the weekend coordinator for the department as I work unsupervised fifteen-hour shifts every Saturday and Sunday. I am responsible for the effective operation of the cardiology unit on the weekend. My job duties include performing EKGs, applying Holter monitors, assisting physicians with reports, entering orders and charges, and maintaining the cardiology office. I help to train new technicians and nurseing aids to perform EKGs. Over the past two years the department has implemented a new computerized EKG/report retrieval system. I have been a part of the performance improvement team to help integrate the new system and increase efficiency. I work closely with my supervisor to element duplication of work among the technicians and to allow for better communication between shifts. Often, I am the point person connecting the cardiology department with patients and other hospital components. This job has enabled me to become a more compassionate, patient, and understanding person better experienced in dealing with scared, confused, angry, and sometimes unwilling patients.


Student's Teaching America's Youth Reading Program
Aug 02 - Dec 02
15 hrs/wk

I tutored elementary school first graders as part of a college work-study program. My participation in this process took place at Grigg's Elementary School in Mobile, AL. There I listened, corrected, and encouraged the children as they read stories to me. It was an endeavor requiring focus and patience on my part, and I learned, through teaching, the principles underlying the development of reading skills. I also learned that teachers/educators put in many hours of preparation outside the classroom preparing lesson plans and materials in order to help the children learn. Perhaps my most telling lesson learned was to distance myself from the students because you become attached to them and very interested in what happens to them when they are at home. I saw children from abusive homes, children with absentee parents, children who wore dirty clothes to school. I admired the students who were quick learners and wanted my approval, but I enjoyed the slow learners who needed the help even more. I enjoyed the challenge. My greatest satisfaction came in seeing the glow of happiness and success on their faces when they realized they could actually read. I felt pride in knowing I helped secure a better future for them, as they became better readers.


Freshman Athlete Tutor
Aug 02 - Dec 02
9 hrs/week

tutored freshman athletes, many of them international students unskilled in English as a second language. All the athletes were required to attend study hall nine hours a week. The ESL students were very attentive and exhibited a great desire to learn and become effective communicators. They were easy to teach and seemed appreciative of my attention. I learned the few who rarely talked and exhibited discomfort were usually the most in need of and too embarrassed to ask for help. I concentrated on helping them develop their language skills by having them talk and teach me about their culture and the sports they played. Once past this hurdle, we were more successful in overcoming the problems they were having in other academic areas. This experience was very beneficial for me in that I learned a great deal about their cultures. I was invited to meet their families and eat ethnic cuisine I probably would not have sampled otherwise. I made friends for life, and I still visit and correspond with several of them on a regular basis.


Biology Honor Society
Aug 03 - Aug 05
1 hr/wk

Biology, a field presenting many challenging, intellectual problems, provides the basic foundation enabling one to study in any area of the life sciences. I knew an undergraduate degree would present me with nearly limitless opportunities for study and research. Biology provides me with the necessary foundation to work and continue to learn in any of the many fields I feel would satisfy my desire and passion to become a productive contributing member of society. Every time I attend a Biology Honor Society meeting, I find myself experiencing a keen sense of expectation knowing I am about to begin another journey into the world of discovery. The Biology Honor Society has provided growth and experience far exceeding my expectations. The higher degree of detail and depth of study introduced me to the world of research my professor's inhabit and provided the impetus allowing my own research experiences to blossom. The field of study encompassed by the Biology Honor Society is so broad, it fosters a sense of cooperation in the interactions of students with the same general levels of research experience.


Stephen Hatten Premedical Externship
Sep 03 - May 04
3 hrs/wk

Stephen Hatten Premedical Externship program increased my knowledge and insight into the medical profession and ensured that I was maximizing my learning experience about my career choice. The program provided me with the leadership, knowledge, and experience in the decision-making processes of someone who is now where I expect to be in the future. I obtained a degree of leverage from the program to pry into the nooks and corners and gain a lay person's view of medical procedure. I wanted and received the real experience, not Patch Adams, Scrubs, not General Hospital nor ER, but real life experiences in the medical community. I was able to ask a lot of personal questions to many different specialists. The most important lesson was how these physicians, an optomistrist, a veterinarian and a dentist balance family and work. I was given a lifetime of advice about begining medical school and studying, and I learned the reasons that each chose the respective career paths.


Undergraduate Thesis
Mar 04 - Aug 05
10 hrs/wk

To achieve Latin honors, I was required to complete a research project. I worked with a geologist interested in investigating living foraminifera. Teamwork, communication, initiative, and mentoring comprise the cardinal points of the compass of research. An important aspect of the research project was the mentoring I received, making north a mentor to direct, inspire, teach, and push my limits. East became initiative as I created the research question, designed the methodology, and did my own trouble shooting when things did not work correctly. I learned all research has drawbacks and went through many failures before finally getting it right. South was the teamwork of students and a professor who accompanied me into the field to collect samples from the marsh, and classmates who helped compile the statistical data. West is the last point leading to completion. It is essential that one be able to effectively communicate the results of the research. I often felt I would never finish with my thesis. I did so many revisions I almost convinced myself I would never be a good research scientist. Throughout the learning experience my advisor inspired me by listening and encouraging me to solve my own problems. I now know how to navigate with confidence the pathways of future research endeavors.


Community Service/Volunteer - not Medical/Clinical
Founding Member of USM Roots and Shoots Chapter
Aug 04 - May 05
4 hrs/wk

While attending a Biology Honor Society meeting my senior year, I was approached by a professor, active in the Roots and Shoots program at Hattiesburg High School, seeking help to move Roots and Shoots to USM. Roots and Shoots is a program designed to inspired students to take action and involve themselves in making their community and the world a better place for people, animals, and the environment. I am proud I was able to help make Roots and Shoots a part of USM before I graduated. As one of the founding members, I held informational meetings for other student organizations to garner support for our efforts to implement positive change by actively learning about, caring for, and interacting with the environment. Perhaps the key component was our goal to help young people develop self-respect, confidence in themselves, and hope for the future. Bringing Roots and Shoots to USM taught me the processes for making an application to charter an organization at the university and with the Roots and Shoots Foundation. This organization allowed me to strengthen my leadership abilities by providing education through tutorials, online learning, and presentations.


Woolsey Cruise - LUMCON
May 05
60 hrs/wk

I spent five solid days aboard the R/V Pelican with 17 other scientists and 5 crewmembers. We left Cocadrie, LA, and headed for a specific portion of the Mississippi Canyon in the Gulf of Mexico in order to take sediment cores from an area where a methane hydrate vent was known to exist. I assisted Dr. Brunner, a paleoceanographer to photograph, measure, and dissect the sediment cores before we packaged them for shipment to her lab for further research and analysis. Teamwork and camaraderie existed between the crew and scientist with each crossing over to do whatever was needed to accomplish the task at hand. It was an exceptional experience to view my professors "with their hair down" while working hard next to them. I gained first hand experience of scientific research outside of the lab. I was surprised at the nautical ability of the scientific group, but even more eye opening was the degree of scientific knowledge and ability of the Pelican's crew. Everyone on board, scientist and crew had something to teach me in this unique learning adventure.


Distinguished Senior Award
May 05
0 hrs/wk

I am one of nine graduating seniors to receive the Biological Sciences Distinguished Senior award. The award recognizes students who have distinguished themselves not only academically but also through other achievements while attending the University of Southern Mississippi. The department faculty nominated and voted for the seniors who received this award. I was honored to receive the recognition of my professors reflecting their awareness of my abilities and dedication over the years when I thought it had gone unnoticed.

AMCAS - Personal Statement

"Tree burn," a new phrase (to me) in medical terminology, is but one condition supporting my certainty that I want to be a doctor. I have only recently learned about tree burn, though my interest in medicine began at a much earlier age. When I started elementary school my mother purchased a memory book I was to fill out at the end of each school year. One of the questions in the book was the age old "What do you want to be when you grow up?" Doctor, an option I never selected, was one of the many available occupational choices. I always picked "model/actress." A seemingly natural choice as physical beauty by almost anyone's definition seems to run in the genes among the women in my family. I did not start thinking of a career in medicine until much later, during a visit to my pediatrician's office. It was a magical place with beautifully painted walls, toys everywhere, and a playground outside. As I grew older I began to truly see the service my doctor provided. Her knowledge and skill empowered her and gave her the unique ability to ease minds, while providing compassionate care. I grew to respect her for the knowledge and skill she evinced while doing the job she loved. While my friends experienced growth spurts, I realized I would forever view the world from the lofty height of five feet and would always be a little on the chubby side. This knowledge closed the door on any dreams of being a model. A person with my physical characteristics is not a marketable package in the glamour industry. I have other abilities: intelligence, patience, compassion and a desire to serve and be a productive member of my community. These are the attributes I bring to the table, affording me the knowledge I will make an excellent doctor.

Back to tree burn; tree burn is like carpet burn except that it occurs after you have hugged a tree through a hurricane in order to survive. I saw too many people with tree burn when I became one of the many survivors waiting out the fury of hurricane Katrina at Memorial Hospital in Gulfport, MS. I am normally employed there as the weekend cardiology department technician. I am one of the few people in my department without children and have volunteered to be our department's designated member of the hurricane and emergency preparedness staff. I left my home on Sunday with three pairs of scrubs and toiletries, and the biggest worry on mind was the MCAT that I had taken only eight days before and how nervous I would be for the next two months waiting for my scores to be reported. The next morning, instead of my shift ending, I was moving patients from the exterior rooms into the hallways to escape the glass of windows shattering under the assault of hurricane force winds. I helped nail doors shut, calm patient's fears, and assist the other medical staff. We waited together. I do not remember feeling scared, probably because I was too busy attending to the people needing my help. The winds finally died down enough to board up the windows and provide a secure environment for the patients. I became part of the custodial staff and cleaned up glass and debris so we could return patients to their rooms. Like an unending nightmare, I was pressed into service in the emergency department where all available technical staff was needed to assist the medical staff. My first trip outside of the hospital occurred when a dump truck pulled up to the ambulance bay, and the driver let the rear gate down and over twenty people stepped out of the back. I helped treat minor lacerations of children rescued after enduring long periods of submersion in the flooding. Our discharged patients and newly homeless people often became restless as they waited worriedly together in the makeshift shelter the hospital had become. I helped wrap food to feed them and passed out colors and stickers to children. I lent emotional support to parents putting on an appearance of normality and calm assurance for their children. By Wednesday, the hospital was running short of generator fuel. While returning to my office, after having just finished taking a shower at 1AM, I found myself in a pitch-black hallway. Once again I was whisked off to be of assistance to other departments, first ER then ICU, where I assisted in bagging patients needing the air no longer being provided by respirators. I am sure it was disconcerting for some to see me doing this in my pajamas.

Wednesday afternoon, ninety-six hours after arriving, I was afforded my first opportunity to return to my home. When I arrived, my house looked perfect, but I was only able to push the door open a crack. My home was knee deep in mud and muck from the flooding in Bay St. Louis, and most of my belongings were forever lost. I did not even try to go inside. I simply shut the door on my wrecked home and the emotional loss it contained and returned to work. Realizing I was very fortunate to still have a job in a hospital staffed with exceptional medical personnel who, in this crisis, stepped up and took responsibility to provide treatment and care to so many left homeless and destitute. As I relive the events of those four days, I am more certain than ever my career choice to become a medical doctor truly is my destiny.

Undergraduate Coursework & Grades by Semester

University of South Alabama
Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College - Jefferson Davis
Univerisy of Southern Mississippi

Summer 2000
A US History to 1877
B Gen Psychology

Fall 2000
A Gen Biology I & Lab
B Gen Chemistry I & Lab

A English Comp I
B US History I
S Orientation

Spring 2001
A Gen Biology II & Lab
W Gen Chem II & Lab
A English Comp II
A Intro to Sociology

Summer 2001
A Art Appreciation
A Gen Chem II & Lab
A American Lit I

Fall 2001
A Public Speaking
A Precalculas Algebra
A Intro to Ethics
A Intro to Computer Applications
B Organic Chem I & Lab

Spring 2002
W Spanish I
W Statistics
W History/Systems Psychology
W Psychology of Personality

Summer 2002
A World Lit I
A World Lit II
A Music Appreciation

Fall 2002
W Cell Biology
A Lab Studies in Cell Biology
W Gen Parasitology & Lab
W Precalculas Trigonometry
W Physics I & Lab
S Clinical Observation: Medicine

Spring 2003
A Organic Chem II & Lab
W Calculas I
A Statistics

Fall 2003
A Physics I & Lab
A Genetics
S Orientation
A Calculas for Arts & Sciences

Spring 2004
A Physics II & Lab
A Zoology
B Zoology Lab
A Botany
A Botany Lab

Summer 2004
A Special Problems I & Lab

Fall 2004
A History of Biology
A Mammalian Physiology
A Special Problems II & Lab
A Senior Practicum
A Princ of Biochemistry
A Intro to Epidemiology
A Cellular Physiology

Spring 2005
A Gen Microbiology
A Micro Lab
B Herpetology
B Herp Lab
A Special Problems III & Lab
A Health Administration
A Health Policy

Summer 2005
No credit taken. I worked on my senior honors thesis to graduate summa cum laude.

Note (not counted in GPA calculation):
W = Withdraw
S = Satisfactory

Undergraduate Education

I graduated from Long Beach High School in Long Beach, MS, and I began college at the University of South Alabama in Mobile, AL, in June 2000. I also took classes at the Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College Jefferson Davis Campus (JD) in Gulfport, MS. I graduated from the University of Southern Mississippi (USM) in August 2005 summa cum laude with a BS in Biological Sciences.

I liked South Alabama, but left in order to attend USM because USM offered more courses in Biology. I did several of my pre-requisite medical school courses at JD because the classes were smaller, and I liked the profs.