Year in Training: 3rd year medical student
Medical School: Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine (MSUCOM)
Specialty Interest: Sports medicine
Undergraduate Major: Biology
Follow Rami: @dr.ramiii on Instagram
What's your story?
My name is Rami, and I’m a 3rd year medical student at MSUCOM. I attended Michigan State University for my undergraduate studies and continued on as a Spartan for medical school.
Getting into medical school was a difficult journey for me and I struggled a lot as a pre-med student. I had one really bad year and it set me back in my journey. I am the ultimate underdog as I overcame the odds by focusing all of my energy on taking upper level science classes and retaking my MCAT. The day I received my acceptance phone call is a day I’ll never forget.
What are your #doctorgoals?
I wanted to become a doctor for the same reason many people want to be doctors. I wanted to help people and have a career where I could be a leader in my field and community. I’ve always loved challenges and to me becoming a doctor was the ultimate challenge.
I’ve always known that medical school would not be easy, but I came in with the mentality that I would not let it break me. I was going to do whatever it took to maintain my health, exercise, have a social life and still do the things I loved, all while getting good grades. I didn’t realize how tough that would actually be. It took a few semesters to finally get in the groove of things and become really efficient.
For me, that is what’s important, having balance.
With a field as long and stressful as this, I wanted to be an outlier. I wanted to be the one who overcame the stress and hurdles and lived a balanced and healthy life.
I want to be the doctor that “walks the walk” as much as he “talks the talk”. I believe doctors should set an example for our patients in how to live a healthy and fulfilling life. I want to integrate my passion for sports, health and fitness into medicine and hopefully pursue a career in sports/rehabilitative medicine.
My goals as a future doctor are far and wide and constantly evolving. I want to be a leader in my community. I want give back to the people of this world that have not been as fortunate to pursue their #doctorgoals or any goals for that matter. I want to create an atmosphere and working environment for professionals to come together and create quality care and treatments for athletes, trauma patients, and those trying to regain their quality of life.
What has been your biggest hurdle thus far and how did you overcome it?
My biggest hurdle thus far has definitely been as a pre-med student. My journey was not easy, and I struggled a lot along the way. I was a good student who made a few mistakes. One year I had let my grades slip so bad that I thought I had ruined my chances of ever getting into medical school. I thought of all the people who I would let down, and I thought about how I had let myself down.
I remember sitting at my desk so disappointed that I had let myself slip up. I remember spending a few minutes feeling sorry for myself before slamming my fist against my desk. I said that’s enough.
I’m going to do this, no matter what it takes.
This was a defining moment for me. In an instant, I had made a decision without a single shred of doubt. It was a feeling that I can’t describe because I had never felt so much conviction in anything I had ever said before. There had never been any point in my life that motivated me more than to redeem myself.
I don’t believe there is a single force out there greater than redemption; picking yourself up from the ground and persevering. I deleted my social media accounts, kept nothing but a few close friends for support and woke up everyday on a mission. I got a 4.0 in my last 30 credits of upper level sciences. Retook my MCAT, scored well and it looked like I had a fighting chance.
The day I received my acceptance phone call from the school I had been dreaming about attending since I was a freshman in college is a day I’ll never forget.
I chocked up, couldn’t get words to come out of my mouth. I remembered every single day that I woke up waiting for this moment. I sometimes forget about how far I’ve come and it’s nice to look back and reflect.
The confidence I get from knowing that I never gave up is priceless. It’s probably one of the most valuable life experiences I have. Knowing that when you set your mind to something and you want it to the point that it is the first thing you wake up thinking about the last thing you pray for before you go to bed, you will get it.
This post is for those of you that need a little hope and inspiration in your journey, whatever it may be.
Best advice for pre-med students.
My best advice for pre-med students is to be just as dedicated to yourself as you are to your studies. That means taking care of yourself mentally, physically and emotionally. Do not become the typical neurotic pre-medical/medical student. Medicine is a long and hard journey and you are too young to be developing bad habits.
Eat right, exercise, practice some form of meditation and enjoy life.
Medicine is a field that requires longevity. You wont be starting your career until you are at least 30! So make sure that you are as committed to taking care of yourself as you are to your studies and future patients.
Secondly, if you are an underdog like I was, know that its never over and you can make it. I wish I had someone to tell me at the time that it was possible to make a comeback. Find your reason and let it motivate and push you everyday.
Knowing what you know now, if you had to re-apply to medical school, what would you do differently and why?
I think knowing what I know now, I would have better organized my priorities so that I would not have dug myself into a hole. But these experiences have shaped into who I am today, and I have gained so much confidence from having faced adversity.
As long as you have the right outlook, there is no such thing as failure, only lessons learned.
If I was a pre-med student again, I would probably be much more focused and dedicated to my goals. I would have stressed less about things that I may have thought were very important, but in hindsight were actually pretty insignificant. I would spend less time with people who did not make me a better person. I would travel more, learn as much as I could about other cultures and people, and just commit myself more to bettering myself.