Monday, December 14, 2015

Choosen: Set Apart: Appointed

Months ago my pastor spoke on "Find God's Purpose for your Life" and he stated "Before you were born, I set you apart for special work."

For the longest I've struggled with the infamous question "Why do you want to be a Doctor". There are no medical professionals, physicians etc. in my immediate family (or even distant) that I could look up to and/or that I aspired to be like. I am not from an affluent family, background or area, that would have provided me with exposure to various esteemed professions. I never really considered any of my families medical histories to be overly traumatic and there was no profound moments that showed me, "Wow this doctor just really saved my/their life".

I simply have had this vision, for as far as my memory will go, that I wanted to be a doctor. I don't know where it came from but I can list and describe encounters, feeling, statements and what have you, that I have experienced in my life both directly and indirectly through family and friends, that has strengthened my interest and it has been like a burning sensation in the pit of my stomach, that I cannot get rid of. And, for the longest I struggled with fact that whenever I came across that question, (Why do you want to be a Doctor), my answer was never the same, or it didn't sound as nice or as moving as others I've come across.

I would become flustered because I couldn't decide if my defining "Why Medicine Moment" was:
  • My grandmothers CHF (Congestive Heart Failure), End Stage CKD (Chronic Kidney Disease), or her COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) 
  • OR was my my Aunts' leg amputation due to diabetes and a series of strokes, that has left her barely functional and wheel chair bound
  • OR My mom's recent diagnose of MS (Multiple Sclerosis) ..... 
  • And the list can go on and on
Which then lead me to question if this was really my purpose in life. And, if so then why in the heck was it so hard for me the answer this questions, "Why do you want to be a Doctor"??

I've had moments during shadowing or working in healthcare in some capacity or another and even with family, that have been completely amazing, from conversations with patients that remind me of my Granddad's witty mouth, to some interactions that were so meaningful that I got butterflies, because the patients saw me in the same light that I always envisioned myself, as someone's doctor, someone's educator, someone's confident, someone's leader, and someone's inspiration.

Then I think about my family and their medical tragedies and triumphs and the battles we are still fighting. While, I initially thought that their stories were "Average", these moment were actually very profound and were indeed what lead me down this path. And, I discovered that it's OK that I cannot pin point just one moment, because I have a series of defining moments. It's ok that my journey it not like yours, his, or her's!

At 4 years old instead saying I wanted to be a princess, unicorn or singer when I grew up, I said I wanted to be a doctor, I wanted to help the world and fix everyone's boo boos.  And despite saying this some 20 odd years ago, I knew in my spirit then, what I have grown to realize through life experiences what I know now. God makes no mistakes, the passion and vision he places in your life, whether it was a vision given to you at 4 or 40, he makes no mistakes. We just have to find our path in life and this may not be easy but it is definitely a worthy pursuit!

 "Before you were born, I set you apart for special work."

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Interview Season : Mental Prep!!

Outside of finding the perfect outfit, dressing to impress and reviewing interview questions, you have to prepare your mind and spirit for the interview process. Being confident and free of anxiety is very important because if you're anything like me, you may find interviews to be a bit overwhelming and a definite source of stress.

Here are some bible verses that I have used in the past and will use this year to ease my mind and address thoughts of inadequacy and fear. Whether you are religious/spiritual or not; hopefully the words will resonate with you and are able to help you as much as they have helped me!

Monday, December 7, 2015

Interview Season: Dress to Impress!

Interview season is well underway. And, here are some of the ways I am preparing: participating in mock interviews (formal and informal), self practice with questions I have found online, and shopping for interview attire.

I have a few suits at home, but they have been worn quite often, not so much the blazers but I use the pants for work, church and any other outing, and the blazers do have signs of wear also. With that being said I opted to purchase a new suit.

A good business suit is definitely an investment and of course you want look very professional during your interview(s). I tend to sway more towards black in general, so I chose to purchase a black suit as well. In general most people recommend that women wear a black suit, but I have seen interviewees in Navy and Gray suits as well. However, your interview day is not the time to be overly fashionable or to stand out (for the wrong reasons), so safe is better than edgy or "Vogue".

In 2014 I was frantic, very very low on funds and the thrift stores in my area did not have any nice gently used suits (yes I said thrift store, some of them are very nice and have items that people have not even worn, if you don't have the funds for one reason or another and no one can provide you with financial assistance, this is an option.) So I purchased my suit from JCPenny it was Worthington brand. I believe I paid $75-85. Over all it was a nice suit, however I felt the material collected more lent than I would have liked. I would say though, the pants I purchased from them were great I went back and purchased 2 more, they were very clean looking and durable. I also wore the suit in the spring, it was a black pant suit with a lavender button down with a collar.

This year after doing a few online searches for something I could pick up locally at a retail store and then visiting a few stores, I decided on Macy's. I purchased a black (one button) Calvin Klein pant suit (Pants $60, Blazer $90 :-/) I originally purchased a two button version of the suit however after taking it home I was not comfortable with the length of the blazer (it was too short) so I exchanged it for a longer one button blazer in black as well (pictured immediately below). I purchased a pair of 2 inch heels because I knew I would be doing a lot of walking. A very comfortable brand was Corso Cosmo (1st choice but they were higher than I wanted to pay, luckily they didn't have my size lol) and INC (the shoes I purchased) I still have blouse shopping to do and this year I plan to go with a cream or white blouse, no color and I may get a different pair of shoes, if I can find a better deal.


Here are a few images I came across online of Do's and Dont's 

Soft Gray tones, stay away from shiny/metallic grays
Dont- No open toe shoes, loud colored accessories, or  mix match suit separates :-(
Image result for african american women in business attire
Dont- No open toe shoes,. Stick with black, navy or gray suits, and skirts should be a modest professional length  :-(
Image result for african american women in business attire
Dont- No open toe shoes, no stilettos, and no big showy accessories :-(