Mr. Jacob Gilchrist, a 2014 program participant at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. Mr. Gilchrist graduated from the University of Texas at San Antonio with a degree in biology. In July 2017, he will begin his first year of medical school at the Joe R. and Teresa Lozano Long School of Medicine in San Antonio, TX.

What led to your interest in a health profession?

I felt very purposeful while pursuing my education to become a healthcare professional. I enjoy the amount of personal interaction and the education involved in healthcare. I also appreciate the teamwork involved in reaching a patient’s goal of ultimately feeling well.

Who or what inspired you?

I was inspired by my mother, a nursing assistant, who works 70 hours a week. As a single parent, she was able to provide the financial and emotional support I needed while I was young. No matter what situation or stage of life I’m in, I believe she’s a harder worker than I am, and it inspires me.

What obstacles did you overcome in your educational or career journey?

During my first two years of undergraduate school, I had difficulty balancing school, work, and my personal life. While attending school full-time, I worked 30 hours a week as a scribe in the hospital which adversely affected by grades, work performance, and personal life. Eventually, I learned how to make compromises with my time and money, and make my health a priority.

What makes your story unique?

I think many people share experiences like mine, but the collection of all of my experiences is unique to me. My mother is Filipino and my father is African American. I feel welcomed everywhere, but I also understand what it feels like to partially fit into two ethnic groups.

If you had the opportunity to talk to a health profession student, what would  you tell him/her?

Hard work beats talent!