June 19, 2019

Student Insights: Get to know your Orientation Leaders (OLs)

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Here are 12 more Orientation Leaders that you all will be seeing in a few short weeks from now, answering the following questions:

1. Where are you from?
2. What made you want to become a doctor?
3. What’s your favorite Birmingham spot?
4. What’s something about being a medical student that more people don’t realize?
5. What made you choose UAB?

quinn.colinColin Quinn

1. I am originally from North Attleboro, Massachusetts and then I went to undergrad at The Ohio State University.

2. There is truly a potpourri of reasons why I wanted to attend medical school; but, if I were to sum it up in one statement, it has been and always will be for the kids. Having lost a good friend to pediatric cancer, working at a camp for a decent portion of my life, and having the opportunity to help lead a Dance Marathon program, my mission in life has always been to give every kid the childhood they deserve. No kid, and nonetheless parent of family members, should have to spend time in a hospital room instead of on the soccer field with their friends.My goal is that through medicine, I can continue this mission and ultimately bring more smiles to kids’ faces.

3. This is a tough question but, I would probably have to say Rail Road park. I know its a little cliché, but especially in the early morning before the Alabama heat takes over, it is an awesome place to run and take your dog.

4. Contrary to what society portrays, there is still time to have fun while in medical and it is important to make time for it!

5. When it came to making a decision, UAB was ultimately the place where I felt I would best fit in. I distinctly remember coming to my interview and following the tour I thought to myself, if I am lucky enough to get accepted, I could easily see myself being here for the next four years.

green adrianaAdriana Green

1. I am from Tuscaloosa, Alabama (but an Auburn University grad, War Eagle ?).

2. One strong contributing factor to my desire to become a doctor was being a patient at Children’s Hospital of Alabama throughout my elementary and middle school years. I remember loving how my physician made me feel, even from a young age, and knew that I would find great joy in providing that same feeling to patients as a career.

3. My favorite spot in Birmingham is Sweet Jon’s café. It is a coffee shop about ten minutes from campus that has the best drinks and a very welcoming staff. There are also plants all over the shop (including on the walls!!) that makes me feel like I’m in a garden.

4. People don’t realize that being a medical student makes up a part of your identity but is not your entire identity. Your life in medical school is what you make it – studying obviously takes up a large amount of your time, but medical school doesn’t have to become your whole life. You can still take time to go on trips, go to concerts, and keep up with your hobbies and passions. In fact, keeping these things in medical school is a must to stay sane and healthy.

5. I chose UABSOM because I remembered feeling at home as a patient in the UAB healthcare system, and I felt that same feeling of home on the academic side as I explored medical schools to attend. That “home” feeling intensified when I visited UAB for my interview, when I started my first day of medical school, and I still feel the sensation of home at UAB to this day.

Elston.AmarisAmaris Elston

1. I am from Jacksonville, Alabama

2. My brother became very ill at the age of 2, and the wonderful healthcare staff at UAB saved his life. Ever since that day, I knew I wanted to do the same for others.

3. That is hard. I would have to say the taco truck off Greensprings and Granny’s Fish and Grits.

4. I think people believe that we just go to class and go home, when in reality, we do way more than that.

5. I received my bachelors and master’s degree from UAB, so it has always been home to me.

Pate.JamesJames Pate

1. Lowndesboro, Alabama

2. I wanted to become a doctor because I saw first-hand how big of an impact you can make in not only your patient’s lives but also the community you live in.

3. I’m a big Avondale brewery fan. It has a great outdoor area where they always have music playing and you can get some sun.

4. I would say the biggest thing is that medical school can actually be fun if you don’t let it control your life.

5. UAB is way too good of a school to pay out of state tuition and go somewhere else.

maier.juliaJulia Maier

1. I am from Madison, AL, and I went to the University of Kentucky for undergrad.

2. I have wanted to be a doctor since I was a kid. My cousin was in the NICU for 3 months when he was born, and it made me really want to become a neonatologist. I’m not sure what specialty I want to go into now, but I still know that medicine is the right decision for me!

3. I love Avondale! There are so many fun things to do there--restaurants, parks, breweries, etc. Also, everything is pup friendly, which is a huge perk!!

4. A lot of people don’t realize how many sacrifices we have to make as medical students. At the same time, it’s so much fun and the struggles are so worth it!

5. I chose to come to UAB because of the people! Yes, UAB excels both in academics and in research, but the students and faculty I met on my interview day were genuinely so friendly and welcoming that I knew I wanted to be a student here!

Khan SaadSaad Khan

1. Huntsville, Alabama

2. For me, it was a combination of seeing a need around me, as well as pushing myself to do more than I thought I was capable of.

3. My favorite place to be in Birmingham is Wherever the Homies Are At.

4. The Lows are pretty low, but the Highs are even higher. You just have to ride that wave.

5. At the end of the day, UAB provided almost endless opportunities to pursue what I wanted in terms of a medical career. I wouldn’t change a thing.

Lee KevinKevin Lee

1. I am from Huntsville, Alabama. I went to Grissom High School and then UAB for undergrad.

2. I wanted to become a mechanic at some point - find the symptoms, work through possibilities, fix the problem. Honestly a job not so different from diagnosing a patient and creating a treatment plan. The biggest difference though is working with people and creating an environment where patients trust you and will work with you to successfully achieve health. I find this a unique aspect of medicine and loved watching doctors in action while I shadowed.

3. This one secret road where you can see a panoramic view of the whole city without any obstructions.

4. Most of us do a lot more than just study. Ask us about what we do for fun!

5. I chose UAB because of its strong commitment to education. Even in Huntsville I would hear of medical cases being sent to UAB. That made me go here for my undergraduate education, but the continued quality of education is why I wanted stay here.

Subramani LakshmiLakshmi Subramani

1. I’m from Madison, AL a suburb off of Huntsville (#256)

2. From a young age, I knew that I wanted to work with people. An absolute extrovert, I love being able to interact with people from all different walks of life. Couple that with my passion for science, and medicine was the perfect career!

3. My favorite spot in Birmingham is Railroad Park! I’m an avid runner and I love living downtown and having so many scenic places to run around, including Vulcan Trail and Rotary Train. A close second would be Edgewood Creamery or Trim Tab, or really any new restaurant in Birmingham’s awesome food scene!

4. You always have an available free lunch! There are so many “lunch and learn” lectures around Volker that you never really have to pack a lunch, plus you get to hear some pretty interesting people from across UAB speak!

5. Being in state, UABSOM was kind of a no-brainer for me. It is such a prestigious institution, with many world-renowned doctors and scientists who work here. Couple that with being situated in the heart of Birmingham—a good sized city—plus a close-knit medical school, you get a really special medical school experience!

Kirkland MasonMason Kirkland

1. Montgomery, Alabama

2. I decided to become a doctor because of the chance to do something intellectually challenging that would also be of concrete and lasting benefit to those in need.

3. Regions Field (it helps that it’s basically my backyard)

4. We’re just like them! I know a lot of people who assume there’s some sort of great divide between us just because they hear I’m going to be a doctor, but I believe we usually have a lot more in common than they would think.

5. I’ve always loved the state of Alabama, and UAB was just the obvious choice.

Broughton MiaMia Broughton

1. I am from Theodore, Alabama which is just outside of Mobile.

2. I want to become a doctor so that I can both positively impact the health of my home community while also improving the diversity of healthcare providers.

3. My favorite spot in Birmingham is the Temple of Vesta which is a cute place to see the Birmingham skyline in Vestavia Hills.

4. Most people don’t realize that being a medical student is actually fun.

5. I chose UAB because I wanted to learn from a well-known teaching hospital that also attracted many rare cases.

Gonzalez Sigler IrinaIrina Gonzalez-Sigler

1. I am from Miami, FL.

2. Being an athlete has led to me to experience many injuries and frequent visits to the doctor’s office. I fell in love with learning more about the body and how to be “healthy” despite vigorous training. Eventually, I decided that I wanted to dedicate my life to helping others be at their peak potential physically and mentally so they could pursue their passions.

3. My favorite Birmingham spot is the Birmingham Botanical Gardens. It’s a beautiful park which is the perfect place to go for a walk and to de-stress. It is over 65 acres, which lets me see something new every time and there are plenty of good lunch spots in the surrounding area.

4. Something people don’t realize about being a medical student is that it is possible to hold on to hobbies and relationships throughout medical school. As long as you keep in mind that some weeks are heavier on time commitments than others, you can plan to stay flexible and keep exploring other areas of your life.

5. I choose UAB because of their dedication to student wellness and providing a curriculum that helped students achieve a solid understanding of “boards material” while also preparing us to be good clinicians. There is an abundant amount of opportunities to be involved with patients through classes and extracurricular activities which helps put into perspective everything that I am learning in lectures.

Taylor HerronHerron Taylor

1. Birmingham, AL

2. I grew up watching “Trauma: Life in the ER” and going to countless doctor’s appointments with my brother for his 7 knee surgeries. I have loved medicine and loved helping others for as long as I can remember.

3. Jack Brown’s!!! I could eat their burgers for breakfast, lunch and dinner!

4. We are not doctors yet! I have friends and family ask me for medical advice and when I do not know how to help them they are shocked.

5. UAB is one of the top medical schools in the nation and I grew up just 10 minutes away from it. I grew up knowing that UAB was the right place for me.