Marlin Amy Halder
"Don't be afraid to ask for advice or ask to shadow the specialty you might be interested in."
Ms. Halder participated in SMDEP in 2013 at Case Western Reserve University. She is a third-year medical student at Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine, interested in applying for a psychiatry residency.
Marlin Amy Halder
What path did you take when you first started college?
My goal has always been to attend medical school, and I shaped my college experience to allow me to do that. I majored in neuroscience and was part of the honors college in my undergraduate school (University of Illinois-Chicago). I had unique experience of shadowing physicians and doing research in the field of medicine, public health and genetics.
What led to your interest in a health profession?
I have always found joy serving others, and have a thirst knowledge. I always enjoyed learning about how the mind and body works. Medicine is a perfect combination of that and I plan to use my platform to give a voice to marginalized, disadvantaged population.
Who are what inspired you?
My mentors. Their concomitant ways of serving the community, both locally and globally, is inspiring.
What obstacles did you overcome in your educational or career journey?
Failures affecting my self confidence. I looked at taking board exams as an obstacle and allowed my anxiety to get the best of me.
What are some of your recent milestones?
Working with a post-polio support group and getting my research recognized in multiple places has been rewarding. My research explores the life-course of polio survivors and it’s a way to give voice to those who feel not heard in the field of medicine.
What makes your story unique?
Being a south Asian immigrant, where the culture mental health is a mostly taboo topic, the experiences I had with my own mental health, then deciding to go into psychiatry, is an interesting story I would want to share with others, so they can feel seen.
What surprised you the most about graduate/health professional school?
The algorithmic approach to preventative medicine, and how that plays a role in providing care. Experiencing the teamwork aspect of healthcare was also eye-opening, since being able to communicate effectively and work part of a team is crucial to patient care.
How did SHPEP influence you?
I went to SHPEP between my freshman and sophomore year without much experience in medical education and shadowing. The structure of SHPEP, seeing physicians that look like me and have talks about what influenced them to do what to do was inspiring. Getting a taste of different specialties was also a great way to see what options are out there.
Do you remember your first day of graduate studies? What memory stands out the most?
Yes, when I started medical school, the orientation week was very memorable. We worked in different team setting that allowed me to meet different classmates and function in different teams. The first day of starting class was wonderful because it allowed me to finally experience the moment of joy and experience fruits of my labor.
What has been your favorite part of the process? The most difficult?
Being able to function as part of the healthcare team providing care has been a blessing. It allowed me to grow into my field. The challenges include experiencing imposter syndrome and feelings of inadequacy facing adversities. But this allowed me to take advantage of all the proper resources my school provided .
What is the best career advice you have received?
To trust the process and that things will work out for the best no matter which path I choose (in terms of specialty)
What advice do you have for students pursuing a health professional career.
Don’t be afraid to ask for advice or ask to shadow the specialty you might be interested in.