Write an essay where you tell us about what drives you in your pursuit of your graduate degree.
As a homeless teen, I migrated through some of the worst schools. During this time, I was also scarred with the belief that people who become doctors have the best families, go to the best schools, and come from the best neighborhoods. I simply did not fit in any of those categories, and in turn found myself being scoffed at by peers and guidance counselors. Despite the various obstacles I knew I would have to overcome, my scars would not define me. Instead, I began to shadow in various specialties. I remember the exhilaration I felt being in the operating room and eagerly watching the surgeons. Unique to the practice of plastic surgery, I truly enjoyed seeing the intersection between patients’ vision and the surgeons’ expertise which not only produce physical changes, but also changes in an individual’s perspective on life at times. I believe that it is that human connection to have empathy for the scars of others that gives not only a face but a cause to our work. With a curious, open, and focused mind, I have no doubt that my journey of becoming a part of the ever-growing two percent will continue to develop as it should. My scars are part of me, but they do not define me. I will carry them on my journey, but they will not determine my path. They will heal. And my future will be defined by my desire to heal, serve, and inspire others.
Alexandra-Elise from Georgia
Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University