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

Growing up, I wanted to be an author. Well, that’s not completely true. First, I wanted to be a singer. Luckily, around the time I realized that I was tone-deaf, I also realized that I loved to read. I read everything. I read billboards as we passed them in my mother’s Ford Expedition. I read the instructions on my No Tears! shampoo bottle. I even read the labels of cans in our pantry. By the time I started kindergarten, that obsession with words had evolved into a fascination with sentences. I dreamt of writing for a living until I decided I wanted to be a research scientist instead.
In my junior year of high school, I told my mom about my change in plans, who, being the proud mother that she is, told everyone . One of those people knew someone at MD Anderson, and told my mom that I could tour a lab if I wanted to. I was thrilled, already imagining a future of safety goggles and nylon gloves.
That’s how I ended up spending the summer at MD Anderson. I will never forget what I saw that summer. I saw families ripped apart at the seams by disease; I saw the faces of new mothers as they were told that they had only months to live; I saw men and women and children become crippled, weak, and sickly—I saw cancer. I also saw the hope that doctors could bring. I saw happy tears and hugged patients when we gave them the news that they were in remission. I saw the heartbreak and the victories; I saw what it meant to be a physician. So, I applied to college with the dream of practicing medicine. In the fall, I’ll being to pursue my MD at Baylor College of Medicine.
I haven’t wanted to be a doctor all my life. I didn’t grow up dreaming of adding MD to the end of my name. But, I know that this is what I’m meant to be doing. Being a physician is everything that I want in a career—it’s challenging, it would allow me to teach and learn and grow like I never have before, and, most importantly, it would allow me to wake up every day for the rest of my life and make a difference.

Reghan from Texas
University of Texas at Austin