My Gap Year

May 27, 2015

THE BEGINNING OF THE END

summerThe countdown till I move to Ohio is ON. In the midst of looking for an apartment, a possible car to buy (because Philadelphia and Columbus are NOT the same when it comes to public transportation), I’ve also being making it a point to spend time with family and friends. Each weekend has brought on new adventures and memories. For the first time since graduating from college 2 years ago, I’m not taking any classes while working full-time, not studying for…CLICK TO CONTINUE


April 14, 2015

PENN STUDENTS PROTEST ABRUPT CLOSURE OF THE UPENN AFRICA CENTER

10847581_10155447262845128_7821384153572984473_oI am a proud alum of the University of Pennsylvania (UPenn). As I mentioned in an interview, I double majored in African Studies and Sociology of Health and Medicine. Now imagine my shock to learn that my university abruptly decided to shut down its Africa Center. Yes, an elite university such as UPenn, shutting down the only space at the university fully dedicated to the study of historical and contemporary Africa. I am quite frankly appalled…CLICK TO CONTINUE


April 2, 2015

WHO MOVED MY CHEESE?! – REMINISCING ON UNEXPECTED CHANGES

6c85e-whomovedmycheesequotes4A few weeks ago, I was reflecting on my med school journey (as I often do), but this time getting frustrated. Why was my journey so different than I imagined it would be 6 years ago? In a matter of seconds, two words came to mind – curve balls. Yes, Derin, life is always going to throw some curve balls your way and you’ve got to roll with the punches. Hence why I created…CLICK TO CONTINUE READING


March 17, 2015

GET FIT AND FINE WITH DEE!

FullSizeRenderIt’s been a while since I’ve talked about my fitness endeavors but I’ve certainly been busy! This past weekend, I had the opportunity of speaking at an event, the “Be Empowered: Live Workshop and Network Event” hosted by On-Point Eventz. I spoke on embracing your passion and getting paid for it, and used my fitness experience as a case study. I’m still budding and growing but last year brought an exponential growth…CLICK TO CONTINUE READING


March 13, 2015

UPDATES: “WHERE YOU BEEN GIRL?!”

IMG_9091It’s been exactly 6 weeks since my last post, YIKES! It’s not that I have nothing to write about or update on, it’s just…well, a combination of different things: Been really busy – a promotion means more work. And boy, have I been working! The healthcare management course – Absolutely love it! I have so much to write about on this but alas, see above obstacle. My mood – I’ve had my share of ups and downs, writing means coming face to face with my feelings. Sometimes I’ld rather just squash them and pretend they don’t exist than face them head on. So yes, these are the three main reasons for the hiatus. On that note, time for updates…CLICK TO CONTINUE


January 15, 2015

“I’LL GET HEALTHY IF YOU PAY ME”

Man chasing money on treadmillMy eyes glistened with excitement when I read last line: “If you complete both the biometric screening and the online Health Assessment by the campaign deadlines, you’ll receive a $100 cash incentive award.” Yes, bolded just like that. As if the writer imagined I might miss those magic words – incentive award. It almost seemed too good to be true. According to my employer, all I needed was 20 minutes to get my blood pressure…CLICK TO CONTINUE READING


January 9, 2015

THE DILEMMA: DR. MAIDEN NAME OR DR. HUSBAND’S NAME

hms graphThe Harvard Medical Student Review published an article in their January 2015 issue, “Dr. Maiden Name Will Now See You Now” which highlights the decision female doctors make once married – to adopt their husband’s name or to keep their maiden name. The article includes the results of a survey taken by women in the second-year class at Harvard Medical School as well as commentary from…CLICK TO CONTINUE READING


 December 31, 2014

REFLECTING ON 2014: A YEAR OF GREATER

It’s that time of the year when I sit and reflect on the year – the highlights, the lessons learned, the challenges, and the celebratory moments. To do this, I use my journal and scan through the many months of writing, laughing, “oOoo’ing” and “Awww’ing” all through the exercise. It is in this moment I realize how much I accomplished this year, the lessons learned along the way, and how much of an impact…CLICK TO CONTINUE READING


December 11, 2014

#WhiteCoats4BlackLives: Acknowledging The Political Determinants of Health

10857379_790093091044080_4029693403195220601_oAt 3PM EST on December 10, 2014, medical and dental students at over 70 schools participated in the “National White Coat Die-In.” The event was organized on Facebook and spearheaded by students at University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) School of Medicine who described the event as “a demonstration in response to the events in Ferguson and New York because #BlackLivesMatter.” Across the country, there have…CLICK TO CONTINUE READING


December 7, 2014

RWJF SCHOLARS FORUM & SMDEP 25TH ANNIVERSARY ALUMNI LUNCHEON

IMG_7882This past weekend I was in Washington, D.C. for the SMDEP Alumni Summit and 25th Anniversary Celebration. Summer Medical and Dental Education Program (SMDEP) is a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation funded program for underrepresented minorities and disadvantaged students on the medical or dental path. It offers academic enrichment, clinical exposure, career development, health policy seminars, and development of study and learning skills. It is 6 weeks long and …CLICK TO CONTINUE READING


December 2, 2014

THE RIGHT MEDICAL SPECIALTY FOR ME IS….

ENFJwordleI know it’s most likely too early for me to be thinking about this BUT my future specialty has been on my mind for some time now. It all started with the Myers-Briggs personality test. I’m an ENFJ and I’ve known this for some time. Other famous ENFJs are Oprah Winfrey, Sheryl Sandberg (author of “Lean in”), Martin Luther King Jr…CLICK TO CONTINUE READING


November 28, 2014

MY FIRST RADIO APPEARANCE: IMPACT AFRICA!

mempic2In a previous post, I mentioned that I recently joined the Memunatu Magazine team as a campaign manager for their Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign…The launch event I mentioned in my previous post was a success. Although a modest turnout, the audience was very engaging and asked some really thought-provoking questions. At the end of the event, we asked individuals the question: “What do you want to be when you grow up?” There were some pretty cool responses…CLICK TO CONTINUE READING


October 28, 2014

MEMUNATU MAGAZINE: EMPOWERING TEENAGE GIRLS IN WEST AFRICA

Penn LaunchHey ladies and gents! I want to share with you all something I’ve been working on for almost 2 months now. I recently joined the Memunatu Magazine team as a campaign manager for their Indiegogo campaign. Memunatu is a classroom magazine for teenage girls in West Africa that promotes literacy, leadership, and empowerment. This start-up was founded…CLICK TO CONTINUE READING


October 22, 2014

BUILDING A CULTURE OF HEALTH: THE RWJF VISION

rwjf meThe gap year chronicles continue. About a month ago, I had the opportunity of listening to Dr. Risa Lavizzo-Mourey MD, MBA speak at the University of Pennsylvania. This particular event was part of a seminar series being held by The Center for Public Health Initiatives at Penn. Who is Dr. Lavizzo-Mourey? She is the CEO and President of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the nation’s largest…CLICK TO CONTINUE READING 


September 13, 2014

JUST CALL ME COACH D!

This is another post on my gap year chronicles. I did mention it was full of adventures right? Check out my post on “Teaching My First College Seminar” and “My Interview with Accepted.com”for more details. This brings me to my latest adventure. I was recently offered a position as a…CLICK TO CONTINUE READING


August 28, 2014

GRIT: YOU BETTER GET YOU SOME!

I really want to talk about the importance of Grit in achieving your goals. For all my folks on this pre-health journey, I’m sure you can relate. If you were ever an athlete or ever had to overcome adversity to accomplish a goal, well then you’re most likely familiar with this term: Grit. “Grit is…CLICK TO CONTINUE READING


August 25, 2014

TEACHING MY FIRST COLLEGE SEMINAR – “SAY NO TO THE FRESHMAN 15!”

Screen Shot 2014-08-21 at 11.39.54 PMTaking a gap year has its advantages. It’s certainly not for everyone but this period is invaluable in allowing you to mature as an individual, explore your passions, and better yourself  – which has definitely been my case. My gap year has been full of many adventures – gaining more research experience, two Spartan obstacle races, taking…CLICK TO CONTINUE READING


August 18, 2014

MY INTERVIEW WITH ACCEPTED.COM

Screen Shot 2014-08-18 at 7.35.31 PM

Blogging is turning out to be a really interesting experience, I embrace it all. I was recently interviewed by Accepted.com, an admissions consultancy. Although I am not utilizing any consulting services for my application process, their website does have useful tips and adviceto guide applicants. In my interview, I discuss…CLICK TO CONTINUE READING


August 12, 2014

7 FUN WAYS TO GET PHYSICALLY ACTIVE

photo (4)Folks, it’s time to get down and dirty with FITNESS! As mentioned in a previous post, working out is one of the strategies I use to manage stress. The benefits are simply POW, out of this world. Not just physically, but mentally. When you exercise you release chemicals called endorphins aka “the feel good” hormones. According to WebMD, studies have shown…CLICK TO CONTINUE READING


August 6, 2014

A DOSE OF ENCOURAGEMENT

As mentioned in a previous post, writing is one of the strategies I use to manage stress. It allows me to release the emotions I am feeling and reflect on the situation at hand. Last summer, I spent the entire 3-4 months self studying for my first MCAT exam. I moved back home to rural Pennsylvania and was…CLICK TO CONTINUE READING


August 4, 2014

LIEBSTER AWARD NOMINATION

Happy August everyone! Last week was a bit crazy for me, but I am back! Congrats to everyone who dominated their MCAT these past two weeks. It’s a great feeling to be MCAT free 🙂

Two weeks ago, I was nominated for the Liebster Award by serend1p1ty. The following week, I was also nominated by AwkwardBlackDoctorCLICK TO CONTINUE READING


July 15, 2014

LESSONS ON CULTURAL COMPETENCY: THE NOD

I recently stumbled on Dr. Kimberly Manning’s blog “Reflections of a Grady Doctor” and found this gem. She recently had her article “The Nod” published in The Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA)  – the July 9, 2014 issue. The Nod is a reflection on a common “black-on-black acknowledgment usually given in situations where only a few other black people are sprinkled through an environment together.” This article really resonated with me because…CLICK TO CONTINUE READING


June 13, 2014

TAKING OFF THE VEIL

I started this blog with the goal of being anonymous. As I continue to blog, I see no fun in that. Plus, having posted my workout video and my fitness instagram, that anonymity is kaput – gone. So I’m formally taking off the veil.

Here’s the introduction that never happened…CLICK TO CONTINUE READING


June 6, 2014

WELL HELLO STRANGER.

It has been months…scratch that, almost A YEAR, since the last time I wrote here. Apologies for the absence. I write in a private journal frequently, which makes it easy to neglect this blog. I promise to do better!

There are so many updates! Updates on my job, life after college, the med school journey, and my fitness/ start-up business. So here we go…CLICK TO CONTINUE READING


August 15, 2013

SLACKING = NO BUENO

slackingSo the past few days I’ve been in a rut. Basically loosing my steam with MCAT studying and being very distracted with little things. Maybe it’s the combination of trying to sort out apartment and moving details and just being nervous as a whole about this whole new chapter, but ahhhhh I need to get back on my grind!!! Like ASAP. I started taking MCAT practice exams and…CLICK TO CONTINUE READING


July 27, 2013

HI, MY NAME IS ______

slimSome people dread the transition from college to adulthood, I’m not one of those people. I’m excited, arms wide open, saying “bring it on, life!” Since, I lived off-campus my senior year in college, I feel prepared to tackle all…CLICK TO CONTINUE READING


July 25, 2013

FEAR VS CONFIDENCE

leadervsbossI just realized I’ve been doing this all wrong. My approach towards the MCAT has been ALL wrong. Let me explain. So most of the people I know have taken the exam twice, actually everyone I personally know, has taken the exam twice, except for two people. So my drive towards this whole period of studying has been…CLICK TO CONTINUE READING


July 23, 2013

WALKING ON WATER…IT’S POSSIBLE!

So I am very big on walking by faith and not by sight. What does that mean? It means even though I can’t see something happening, or a situation is bleak, I trust God that HE will do it. I have so many personal examples of how God really HAS been faithful, and how walking by faith is really just the best way to live. But anyway, fast forward to my most recent example. I GOT THE JOB!!!!Yes, I have a full time position as…CLICK TO CONTINUE READING


July 15, 2013

CONQUERING THINGS…LIKE A BOSS

So I did it. I FINALLY did it! I’ve been toying with the idea of starting a blog of my journey to and through medical school as someone who plans on matriculating in two years and well, has an interesting path. I graduated in May 2013, loved my alma mater despite the academic rigor (read:“pounding”) I received. Great school, top 10 in the country and…CLICK TO CONTINUE READING


5 comments

  1. Hey! I recently found your blog (like today lol). Your story is amazing! I am currently in the application process. Is there any way I can email you, I have a lot of questions and just need some advice. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

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