Write an essay where you tell us about what drives you in your pursuit of your graduate degree.

Barely 21 years old, she found out she was pregnant.

But how? She took her birth control every night, at the same time, and never skipped a dose.

After she learned she would be expecting a baby she found out that the use of antibiotics can impact the effectiveness of birth control. Disowned by her parents for expecting a baby out of wedlock, she started a career and sacrificed nights with friends to raise her child as a single parent. This is the story of my mom and countless other women. This is my origin story. My mom embarked on a lifelong career at the YMCA of Greater Richmond, working in various departments and eventually becoming a full time employee housed in membership. As a result of her employment, we had the luxury of free child care through after-school programs and summer camps. Without a doubt, the values instilled within me at the YMCA have served as my guidepost as I have learned my interests and passions. From a young age, they taught children in their programs the importance of spirit, mind, and body; emphasizing the importance of each aforementioned aspects of the human experience, and encapsulating each aspect within their organization. As I continued through school, the values the YMCA instilled in me directed me towards medicine, but more specifically osteopathic medicine. While many people are still learning the difference between medical doctors with an M.D. versus a D.O., more people have come to realize that they are identical, just that D.O. doctors look at a person holistically by considering their environment, stressors in their life to determine the root cause of disease and problematic symptoms. Just like the YMCA, the graduate school I will begin attending this summer includes in its mission statement the importance of spirit, mind, and body. As I work towards my doctorate, I am confident in my desire to work as an OBGYN. I hope to serve as a voice for education on pregnancy prevention. I want to be the doctor my mother never had.

Caitlyn from Virginia
Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine - Virginia Campus