Name: Annie N.
Medical Title/Credentials: 4th year medical student (OMS4)
School/Program: Osteopathic medical school
Favorite Hobby: This is so hard to pick a favorite but a tie between hiking, traveling, and influencing people to take better care of our planet.
Why did you choose this profession? When you get to know me, you'll quickly find out I have too many interests for my own good, both medical and non-medical related. I didn't consider being a physician until high school, and experienced different professions throughout college such as teaching, physical therapy, dietetics, veterinary medicine, and medicine to try to help myself decide on my career path. These experiences helped me realize that becoming a physician provides me with the opportunity to combine all of my passions into one role: helping others in a direct manner, educating and empowering people, incorporating nutrition and alternative medicine to maintain health, serving the underserved, advocating for the oppressed, and applying my science-artistic-focused mind in an impactful way.
Biggest Inspiration: My sister and those who not only pursue their aspirations with grace, but also actively participate in the community (in person and on social media) to open perspectives about important ideas such as environmental sustainability, empowerment, self love/mental health, boundless love, and human rights...like @busyscrubs!
Current Passion Project: My food/medicine Instagram blog @sliceofannie and the nutrition certification course/future elective I helped start at my school to teach classmates how to use food and nutrition as medicine in a patient-centered way!
Fun Fact: I own an Etsy shop @saguaroinkco as a hobby side hustle that funded my undergrad study abroad semester, and now helps me afford some groceries now and then during med school. I design, create the stencils, and hand-screenprint t-shirts!
How do you get over the troubled times? I'm someone who cannot bottle up my emotions or thoughts inside for long, so I usually either journal or talk to my close friends/boyfriend/sister about everything troubling me in order to process my thoughts. If I need more help, I'll reach out to the role models who I think might be able to impart some wisdom and support me. Usually I end up having a good cry for a few minutes as well before I figure out how to stay positive, which I highly recommend lol. I'll also stress cook or run or practice yoga or find someone's dog to pet to ease my mind. If it's related to medical school, I try to think about my "why" and remind myself that I worked extremely hard to get where I am today. I remind myself I deserve this spot and need to remain resilient so that I can be the incredible physician I want to become and continue to make lasting, positive change for future patients.
Do you have any advice for others interested in entering your field? You know it!
1. Take action and reach out to any current medical student, resident, physician and ask them your questions! Ask for help. When done in a respectful manner, we can empathize with you deeply on the difficult and stressful path of becoming a physician. I and most people I know would be happy to try to help in any way we can.
2. Similarly, take that leap of faith! This can apply to leadership roles, new opportunities, applying to medical school, etc. You can only succeed if you try, you got this!!
3. Be kind to EVERYONE no matter who they are. Most of our current issues such as racism, discrimination, mental health, and "political" issues could be solved if everyone tried to be kind, honest people. You also don't know what another person can be going through or who they know, which could come back to bite you in the future.
4. Keep learning with an open mind. There's always something to learn!
5. I cannot stress this enough: keep up with your hobbies and interests outside of medicine that make you happy. Medicine will take all you give it --make time for your mental health and well-being.
Any other piece of advice, motivational quote, or message you would like to share? A cancer survivor and my dean once told me, "Bloom where you are planted." This has become one of my mantras, especially during this time of constant change.