Attending the Summer Medical Dental Education Program at Columbia University during the summer of my freshman year helped me immensely. I got acclimated to the school, met many like-minded individuals, gained clinical and professional experience, and most importantly, I learned how to learn.
On a road trip to New York to celebrate my line sister’s birthday, I finished reading “Gifted Hands” the Ben Carson story. The story was very inspirational and I found out that I had quite a bit in common with the famous neurosurgeon. Right off bat, Dr. Carson addresses the influence of his mother in encouraging and challenging him. Anyone who knows me knows how salient my mother’s influence is in my life. She works tirelessly to support me and my younger sister. I remember her teaching me how to read when we first came to this country, and never being satisfied with anything lower than an A. She pushed me until I learned to push myself and for that, I owe her practically everything.
Permit me this brief aside and allow me to deconstruct this notion of “sneaking in” before I even get into my post. In reality, one does not- can not- “sneak” into dental school. Professional schools are extremely competitive, and the case was no different for the incoming class of 2017, for which I applied. On average, a single dental school will receive about 2200 applications, interview 200 candidates, and select 80-100 (smallest class size is 30- Harvard and largest is 240-NYU, both of which I applied to and was not accepted). So, if you can accept these statistics to be true and relatively accurate (my source comes from ADEA’s Guide to Dental Schools), a single applicant has about a 9% chance of getting an interview, and 3.6% chance of gaining a spot, for a school like say, Columbia, which has a class size of 80.
So, when I speak like this, about “sneaking in”, I do a disservice in down-playing my accomplishments and the work of all the pillars of support that got me to where I am. However, it made for a catchy blog title, and in some respects, is true.
So this year, I would like to do something different! Instead of gifts, I am asking that everyone make a donation to my favorite charity, Walk for Wells! I am hoping to raise $2300 in honor of my 23rd birthday! Please visit the link www.https://jhbwalkforwells.com/donate/ to donate via PayPal. There is an option to “Add special instructions to the seller”. Please specify “Ope’s Birthday” in this section to help me keep track of my goal! (An example is provided below.) Thanks in advance for joining me in this endeavor. Together we will give the gift of water to a community in need!