My life changed forever at a tender age of 11. I remember spending countless afternoons, evenings, and nights pacing the halls of the North Shore University Hospital in New York, periodically checking in on my mom. As I paced the halls, I would pray for my mom to pull through. However, this was not meant to be. On the morning of Aug 1, 1994, I awoke to my father picking me up in his arms, with tears streaming down his face, and cries of sadness coming from his heart. Early that morning, my mother died from a four-year battle with breast cancer. A family's dream was shattered and I became somewhat different from other kids in my class. In a short time I started to think like a grown up. Now, at an early age, career goals became extremely important to me.
I vividly remember the day after the cremation of my mother. I was sitting alone in the basement, staring at my empty reflection in the TV. Countless memories of her passed before my eyes in just seconds. But most of all I thought about all the days my mother would talk about her vision of my future as a doctor, helping people like her and others who needed care. Since that day, my ambition for becoming a doctor, which was a natural choice since both of my parents spent their entire careers in the medical field, was strengthened by the goal to carry out my mother's dreams for me.
During the last two years of high school, I looked for research opportunities in the field of biomedical science to bolster my pursuit of a future in the medical profession. In the summer of 1999, I accepted a volunteer research position at the Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York, one of the premiere hospitals in the world. I worked in the department of Nuclear Medicine/ Radiation Safety on a project to determine the effective rate of systemic elimination of
radioisotopes in patients undergoing treatment for thyroid carcinoma. Although I had no direct