I'm a Taurus for a reason

I never was really into horoscopes until I read mine. How can your date of birth determine certain characteristics and personality traits?

Well, that’s for another time but after reading about Taurus’, I no longer think that my May timing was a coincidence, for I fit the Taurus “bill” quite well.

I’m one of the most dependable and loyal people you’ll ever meet, but I also am one of the most stubborn and inflexible. (Admitting the latter isn’t easy but it’s true.)

When people hear “stubborn” they often roll their eyes but actually this trait works in favor for someone who dreams big.

Failure breeds success

Throughout my life, I’ve faced many uphill battles and endured untimely failures. Many have told me that my dreams are “too big” and that my goals were impossible. Well, never tell that to a hard working and focused dreamer.

I used to wonder why life was so hard until one day, I looked at everything I’ve accomplished and realized that adversity is not the end of your story but is a test of your character, mental toughness, and willingness to do whatever it takes to accomplish your goals.

When I applied to medical school, I knew that there was a good chance that I would not get accepted the first time as the competition is FIERCE!

Because I did not have the “perfect” application, some people told me,

“You won’t get into medical school. May be you should consider something else.”

Consider something else?

Okay, forgive me for not being perfect or not having the top MCAT score. But I had the work ethic and passion to become a doctor and my mind was made up.

So I decided to ignore the naysayers and go for it!

Creator of DoctorGoals™

My Story

I come from a family of doctors, so becoming a doctor seemed like the obvious choice. But initially, it wasn’t at all what I wanted to do. Being a doctor just wasn’t very appealing to me. I mean come on, who would “voluntarily” sign up to go to school for YEARS, accumulate thousands of dollars in debt, and work long hours with an annoying pager attached to your hip.

Not me!

Ironic how life works right?

For years, I was fixated on sports. I played everything from soccer, tennis and even Tae Kwon Do, which came in handy being the only girl surrounded by three brothers.

But I digress…

My favorite has always been basketball. I live and BREATHE the sport. I love the team nature balanced with individual tasks and goals. So rather than being the next doctor in the family, I decided that I would become a professional basketball player.

But by high school, I started noticing that the sciences came natural to me, and I actually enjoyed studying biology (say what?).

It was then that I started to reconsider this crazy idea of becoming a doctor and realized:

  • I didn’t mind studying for hours

  • Biology became my favorite subject

  • I became fascinated by the human body anad wanted to know more

But knowing that a career in medicine would be demanding, challenging and time-consuming, I was still a little hesitant. Plus, I still wanted to become a professional athlete.

You know, life is funny sometimes…

As a kid, I could come up with MANY reasons why I did NOT want to be a doctor. But as I neared high school graduation, I couldn’t find many reasons why I should not be a doctor.

It was growing on me.

At the end of the day, what sold me was the power of service: I genuinely wanted to help people. What solidified my decision were three life-changing events:

  1. My career-ending knee injury in college where I quickly saw how important it is to have a caring, patient doctor who genuinely wanted you to get better (I experienced the “negative” side of medicine).

  2. My mission trip to Kenya, Africa (in honor of my older brother) where I learned the true value and power of service and humility.

  3. The unexpected death of my older brother.

Nothing is impossible

Muscle womanDespite my genealogy, becoming a doctor was not easy for me. In fact, everything I have accomplished has required a great deal of dedication, hard work, perseverance and faith.

Being a pre-med college athlete in the Big Ten Conference was QUITE the juggling act.

To say I learned how to manage my time is an understatement! I became the “master” of finding pockets of time:

  • While getting treatment on my knees, I was reviewing my organic chemistry notecards.

  • While walking to class, I was listening to lectures.

  • On the plane heading back from an away game, I was studying for the next day’s physics exam.

To add to the fun, I double majored (Biology and Afro-American Studies).

To add to THAT, I actually transferred from a Division 1 basketball program in the Mid-American Conference to the Big Ten Conference where I gave up a guaranteed scholarship position AND playing time to join a more competitive team as a walk-on.

Hello adversity.



People thought I was crazy, but I didn’t see the hurdles, I saw the opportunities.

I wanted to put myself in the best position to get into a medical school by transferring to a stronger academic university. Plus, I knew I could play in the Big Ten and was ready to prove my worth!

The day I transferred and joined my new team, the head coach told me:

“Alana, we welcome you to the team but know that we don’t have scholarships available right now. We already have a big team, so if we have to let someone go it will be you.”

No pressure…


Well, being the stubborn Taurus that I am, I was ready to prove people wrong. I put everything on the line, took a chance, and fought for my dream.

I put in extra work by coming to practices early, staying late, and even coming in during our days off.

  • I put up hundreds of extra shots every day to make my jump shot more consistent.

  • I worked on my lateral quickness and explosiveness to became a better defender.

  • I met with a nutritionist and our strength coach to improve my conditioning.

Within a year, my spot was solidified and I was awarded a scholarship. By the next year, I was voted team captain.

I became “unstoppable”…


Join the DoctorGoals Movement!

My journey has been full of many ups and downs and I’ve had my fair share of thinking, “Is this really worth it?” But then I remember what I’m working so hard for and I refocus and try again.

I created DoctorGoals in 2016 months before starting my residency training because I wanted to create a platform to provide advice and to inspire those other stubborn dreamers out there who aspire  to join this long, tumultuous, and humbling journey to becoming a doctor…even if you’re not a stubborn Taurus ; )

So, are you ready to chase after your DoctorGoals?

Let’s go!

- Dr. Trot


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