By Joshua Amin

If there is one piece of advice I could pass on, it would be get used to this question. It comes up a lot. From when you meet a new person to the random stranger at the supermarket (medical students are easily identifiable here on the island). One good thing is that you’re already prepared. Remember that that entrance essay you didn’t want to write, turns out it helps.

I don’t understand the appeal of this question, but it acts as a reminder, especially after studying all weekend and using coffee (or tea if you’re like me) to stay up to study more. Those are the moments when you ask yourself why I chose to be a doctor. Is all this really worth it?

At the International American University there is a diverse student body with several different cultures. Each student has their own reasons for wanting to be a doctor. I could lie and say I wanted to be a doctor since I was a child (you know that old cliché) but I am going to be very honest. If you were to ask me what I wanted to be when I grow up at the age of ten, I am pretty sure I would’ve said ice cream maker (oh the dream).

I was undecided about my career path until my high school years. In the education system, I was a part of students who were sorted into the arts, sciences or business. I loved math and science, so it was no surprise I was sorted into the science group. Being the son of business owners and having siblings that studied business it was assumed I was going to do the same (yeah I’m a rebel). It was during my fourth year (grade 10) I was selected as the student to head the science fair board. On the day of the fair no one wanted to man the biology booth. The booth had organs which were loaned to us from the local university. I decided to take responsibility, and this was the day I fell in love with the anatomy of the body. The booth also featured biological specimens, which were donated to the fair. Cutting open the heart specimen, touching the lungs and holding an eye in my hand is all it took, I was in love (I think it was just holding the heart in my hand).

While my love was blooming, I decided to get involved in volunteering. It was on one occasion that helped mature my desire. I was tasked with supervising a group of young kids playing on a playset. One child fell and cut her head, so we rushed her to the hospital. I stayed at the hospital, and we waited almost two hours before we saw a doctor. This experience helped me to realize medical school is what I wanted. It was the very night I applied to medical school.

I knew I made the right choice when I attended my first clinical visit in MD1. I was scared out of my mind but the experience was great. My first American Medical Students Association (AMSA) clinic was one of the best times I’ve had. As a medical student you are limited in patient contact (not at IAU). I felt what it is like being a doctor for the first time in my life at the clinic. I took the blood pressure of several individuals while they asked me what I was doing, and why I was doing it. I loved it, and at that moment, I really knew that I was going to be a doctor.