This article is coming from a young lady who had given up on her dreams. I dreamt of being a doctor until I realized that school was hard and I 99.9% had shot all my chances of becoming one in the foot. But, now I can say this – Hi! My name is Edith Berko and I am a medical student. I am currently attending Saint James School of Medicine, Saint Vincent campus. I will be starting my 5th semester in January 2021. Wow! Who would have thought!
My journey through undergrad was difficult! It started in general sciences in college. To make it to medical school in Quebec, I had to take exactly 2 years, scoring 95%, all the while volunteering and working to show what I am made of. Yet, I took 3 years because I failed every science class and had to retake each one at least twice before I passed. Regardless, I went to university and started Biochemistry. I figured that was what I needed to do to get a second chance at medical school, at least in the rest of Canada.
Those who were there with me knew the struggle. I practically had to outsmart the system to not get kicked out of university after 3 years of struggling. So I started university again elsewhere. I was now terrified of sciences so I got a degree in Social Science with a minor in Psychology. I was happy but that was not the goal. Then I came across SJSM and somehow applied with faith as small as a mustard seed.
In all honesty, my parents were not going to let me out of their sight. I knew traveling to the Caribbean for medical school was me running on wishful thinking. But guess what?! I got accepted! Out of fear, I went to get another degree. I was not sure I could do this medical school thing since Biochemistry almost fried me in undergrad. So I went ahead and got a bachelor’s degree in Chemistry and started working in my field as a chemical analyst for almost a year. Boring! I was not fascinated by the life. I called up SJSM and told them that I’m finally ready, almost 3 years later. Fast forward, 20 months into medical school, and everything is smooth by the grace of God. Woohoo!
I chose to attend this Caribbean medical school because it was going to get the job done. A door that was completely shut in my life opened back to me. Do you need to be the smartest person to attend medical school? No! Do you need to have a science background to get into medical school? Absolutely not! All you need is dedication and determination to succeed. Studying away from home has taught me just that. It has taught me how to persevere through the hard times.
Go ahead and take your shot!