For many generations, no one in my family had the chance to attend a university. In 2015, I was accepted into the University of Florida and became the first person in my family to pursue higher education. I am currently a Health Education and Behavior major with a concentration in health studies. I hope to improve in my academic studies and graduate with the summa cum laude honors. After graduating with my Bachelor’s Degree, I will apply to medical school because my aspiration is to become a physician.
My life as an Asian American has greatly impacted me as an individual. I was able to understand the importance of culture, which has allowed me to appreciate diversity in communities. I was born and raised in Jacksonville, Florida and I grew up going to a Catholic church with a large Vietnamese community. My vision is to break the social and language barriers that exist among Vietnamese immigrants. In my adolescence, I’ve observed the difficult lives of my relatives and family friends. They would work themselves to the point of exhaustion and irreversible illness. These people would neglect their health because they are too focused on working long hours with little breaks. After obtaining my doctorate degree, I plan on practicing medicine in a hospital setting to gain experience. Later, I would like to open a bilingual family medicine practice to provide care to the Jacksonville community. My goal is to use my health education knowledge and advocate for preventative healthcare.
My experience at the University of Florida will allow me to pursue my career as a doctor. My time here has been challenging – academically and individually. However, I believe that this institution has transformed me into a better student and person. I experienced some academic difficulties, but I was able to overcome them. As a result, I learned how to be resilient and persevere in the face of hardship. I learned what I am capable of as a student as well as what study methods work for me. I think the rigorous classes that I have taken will prepare me for medical school. In addition, my personal experiences with the people I met here have shaped me into the person I am today. I have a good support system that includes my family, friends, and school advisors. Although I experienced some tough lessons, I learned to be resourceful, vulnerable, and assertive. I think these are qualities that will enable me to connect and empathize with people, which is important in forming meaningful relationships with my future patients. The College of Health and Human performance has equipped me with the knowledge to be a successful health educator. I believe that this will prepare me for my future goal because a doctor is essentially a teacher. In fact, the word doctor comes from the Latin word docere, which means to teach. Therefore, I will be prepared to apply my health education skills in patient care and teach people how to become independent in maintaining their health.
Education, healthiness, and family are the three things that I was taught to be grateful for. As a first-generation and Asian American, I believe that education can be a powerful asset and a source of happiness. This is why I am willing to dedicate my youth to furthering my education. I find learning to be therapeutic because it is never-ending. When I was young, my mom was diagnosed with a brain tumor. She had to undergo chemotherapy and two surgical procedures. My parents never fully explained the situation at the time because I was a child. As a result, I became intrigued by the world of medicine. When I turned 16, I applied to be a student volunteer at a hospital. It was during this time that I was exposed to patients recovering from surgery. My experience with my mom helped me comfortably communicate with the patients. I’ll never forget the smiles on their faces when I served as a small distraction from the situation they were in. In my freshmen year of college, I was a volunteer at Shands. I used this opportunity to explore the vast field of medicine by volunteering in pharmacy, cardiology, and ophthalmology. I am currently a student intern at a primary care clinic and I find it to be the most rewarding experience. I am surrounded by various healthcare professionals, such as a primary care physician, physician’s assistants, nurse practitioner, medical assistants, and health administrative staff members. This position has given me insight on how the healthcare field operates on a clinical and administrative level as well as experience developmental growth. I have improved my problem-solving skills, developed adaptability skills, and learned to interact on a team. These are all significant characteristics that will help me achieve my career goal.
Becoming a doctor has been my dream since childhood because I am thankful for the doctors and surgeons who saved my mother’s life. This was the pivotal moment in my life because it made me recognize the importance of family. It has been years since my mom’s diagnosis, but my family is still recovering from the change. My understanding of how life-changing an illness can be for the patient and their family has made me want to pursue medicine. I believe my vulnerability can help others heal and encourage them to continue to live.