With all of the other things that we have to accomplish as medical students, I feel that making it to national conferences that link you with other medical students similar to you is important. It’s a very encouraging experience, and it allows you to truly connect and make lifelong friendships. Recently I went to the Student National Medical Association National Leadership Institute where I was able to mingle with not only my friends in SNMA leadership but with members of the National Medical Association.
One of the most inspiring conversations that I had was with a physician who was working earnestly to increase the amount of diverse students applying for medical school. As we spoke, I shared my most private feelings about medical school including the things that I loved, those I can’t stand, and all of my fears. She helped me to realize that I’m not the only one who has felt this way, especially since she had the same joys and concerns and it all works out. My goals have always included giving back through mentoring, but I feel as though one of the most important things that I can do in the future as a physician of color is to show others that while the path is hard, it is do-able. So yes, I will be furthering my leadership roles in the SNMA. I’m very happy in my decision to attend even if it means I have to skip out of fun social events to study. The SNMA is definitely where I belong.