Ms. Carnicle, a 2014 program participant at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. She graduated in 2016 from the University of Texas at San Antonio with a degree in microbiology/immunology. Today, Ms. Carnicle is a 2nd year medical student at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso Paul L. Foster School of Medicine.

What led to your interest in a health profession?

Although I have an interest in learning about biochemical processes and crave intellectual satisfaction, I was drawn to a career in medicine because I wanted to channel my enthusiasm for caring for others, capacity for diligence, and passion for considering individuals’ whole subjective experiences into work that is worthwhile, meaningful, and often life-altering. Watching my brother travel from doctor’s office to doctor’s office motivated my initial interest in medicine, but it was my clinical experiences with different patient populations from the underserved clinic of my hometown to the cardiology wing of prominent hospitals that reinforced my desire to enter a health profession.

What makes your story unique?

I think many people share similar experiences as me but it is my entire story that makes me unique. I was raised in a tiny, rural Texas town with only one stop light and absolutely no talk about graduate school. I never dreamed about being a doctor, because I honestly never thought it was an option for someone like me. Transitioning to college was an exciting time for me as I was exposed to a much more diverse environment that stimulated academic achievement and ignited a passion for investigating issues of justice, honesty, and respect for all human beings.

What surprised you the most about professional school?  

The content is really not that hard, but it is the sheer volume and fast pace that is most overwhelming. It was also surprising how quickly your new classmates become like family.

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

Take it one day at a time. It can seem impossible hearing all the things that people have accomplished before applying to graduate programs and it can be easy to forget that they did this over 4 years. Take a look at where your passion lies and continue to evaluate yourself every semester to reach your end goal. Lastly, if you only do one thing find a great mentor to help you through it and keep you inspired.

Do you remember your first day of graduate studies? What memory stands out the most?

I remember going to the first class and it was a flipped classroom setting. I was horrified that I hadn’t prepped for it and had NO idea what they were covering in the questions the professor went over. After all the classes I went home and called my mother crying because I didn’t think I would ever be able to study long enough to learn the material covered each day. Now that first year is over it’s a hilarious memory and also a great reminder of far I have come.

Updated: July 2017