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I’ve surfed into this premed journey and I plan to ride this wave all the way through medical school and to shores where I can improve the health (body, soul, and spirit) of those that have limited access to care.  Healthcare is a basic human right such as life, liberty, clean water, and food.  Therefore, I hope to combine the insights that nursing practice has afforded with the insights that the science of medicine will ultimately provide in a way that will be profitable to the health of all human beings wherever there is a need.  This desire to improve the holistic health of others stems strongly from my faith in Jesus Christ and his example of healing the sick and feeding and clothing the poor. If I could somehow be transported back to the 1st century during the life of Christ, I would observe his manner of care towards others through sacrificial love so that I would be better equipped to care for my future patients.  I know this journey may consist of a thousand miles, but I’ve realized that I can only take it one step of faith at a time, remembering to absorb the vital knowledge and experiences that each step is meant to supply!

Tashema Clark

“As a man’s strength, so is his work. As a man’s mind, so is his skill. As a man’s plan, so is his achievement.”

I recently discovered this quote in my personal devotions and instantly was illuminated and inspired by the wisdom of these words because they sum up many principles that I have found myself utilizing more and more, since moving to NY.  My hope is that these principles will allow me to be more productive in improving the holistic health of others and in improving efficiency in my premed studies/endeavors.  After moving in January 2017 from the 32 sq. mile tropical island of St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands, to the bustling, icy cold metropolis of NY, I realized that it would take a lot of adjustment, determination, nights of study, and lots of hot tea to be successful in this challenging Columbia learning environment.  I was a “Caribbean Surfer fish”, (as I affectionately nicknamed myself in my fb rants about the challenges of NY culture and subway interactions) who was determined to conquer the new gigantic waves of knowledge that were speeding towards me in Tsunami-like fashion.  The waves seemed to require a “This Is Sparta” militant- type discipline to master, and I was prayed up and ready for this adventure. This determination came ultimately because I viewed it as just one more hurdle to overcome in my desire to be a more skillful healer.  I never fully realized that my desire to move out of the honorable discipline of nursing and to become more knowledgeable at medically diagnosing and determining treatment modalities for patients would mean having to master this Columbia style of science.  As an oncology nurse for 9 years, I had been exposed to a certain degree of science, but learning sciences such as General Chemistry and Physics at Columbia so many years after earning my BSN, was like learning a new language. I discovered this language only becomes fun to speak when you become more fluent in it.  I truly am encouraged in these sciences now that I have begun to see how these basic chemistry/science concepts are linked to improving diagnostic procedures in nuclear medicine. They are also linked to immunotherapy breakthroughs in cancer treatments that are more effective and cause less side effects than other untargeted therapies. It’s truly exciting to see that many treatments came about from these sciences when someone saw a link and extended that science into improving medical care.  This encourages me to pay close attention and to try to understand this new level of thinking because this knowledge might allow me to find a link that improves patient care in the future.