Resilience During the Arduous Climb to the Top
I knew medical school would be hard before I started. And as I type this piece out, I’m sitting here thinking, “wow was I right.” It’s been a journey! This intense four years of job training truly is not for everyone. I had to really want it. It had to be worth the stress, time, financial burden, and time away from loved ones so that I could focus on my studies. But let’s take a step back to how I got myself here. I was in 4th grade when Mrs. McBride had my class do the classic ‘what do you want to do when you grow up’ art project. I had recently experienced my childhood midlife crisis when I decided to not be a pilot because I would have to be in college for 6 years! That was too long I thought to myself. And then I ironically relinquished that dream and chose medicine. In 8th grade I had done a project about Internal Medicine and became so excited to just finish through high school and start my pre-medical education. Now mind you, I’ve never been the strongest test taker, and I will never forget one of my math teachers in High School who told me I would never get into Ohio State with my score. And now I have a piece of paper hanging in the wall of my room saying otherwise. Later at OSU one of my professors did not think I was competitive enough to get into medical school. And yet, in a years time I’ll be walking down a stage with a new title in front of my name. I say this not to brag and say, “look what I did!” Instead I say all this because I had to be resilient through this arduous journey. I’ve always grown up hearing “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” I do not believe that’s true at all. Being told “you won’t be able to do what you dream of,” really hurts. But I never let that stop me. You know what I know? If I desire something, and it lines up with God’s will for my life, nothing and no one has the power to stop me. And yet, with God right there, I have still been tempted to quit. My journey has been exhausting. I had a minor panic attack during my MCAT, but had to pull myself together. Let me put things into perspective. When I took a step back, I realized that the kids who graduate from high school the year I finish medical school, were in third grade when I started college. Let that sink in haha. But I am still here! I did not get all this way to stop now.
So how did I attain the resilience to get through? My advice during this time is to discover something that you love to do. We all know that graduate school means a lot of studying. But finding something to take your mind off your studies is what has kept me sane. Mind you, I’m not saying do not study. We all still need to be wise with our time. One thing I did not expect, is that 98% of the time I was always behind. Med school has not been hard in the sense that I was unable to understand the information. The issue has been the extreme amount of information and trying to cram it all into my head. But outside of studying, personal time for meditation, or faith-based community, your favorite sport, and hanging out with friends who do not only want to talk medicine are examples of some things that will help to keep you sane. The journey is obviously long, but it has also gone by so fast. Those of us in this career had to really really really want this. Shadowing a physician early during my time at Ohio State was essential to me being able to say I see myself practicing in this career for the rest of my life. Keep on going, people may doubt you along the way, times will be rough, but remember it is not supposed to be easy. Keep on climbing up the mountain, and when you get to the top, be thankful for the journey. The good times, and the bad that made you stronger.
Kabwe was born across the ocean in the southern African country of Zambia. His family relocated to Cleveland, Ohio in 1995 for his father's job. Kabwe's family lived in the suburb of Westlake, Ohio until they next relocated to the Toledo suburban area of Maumee, Ohio. In high school Kabwe was involved in football, ran track, the speech and debate team, show choir, concert band, marching band, French club, and the National Honor Society. Surprisingly he was voted most involved by his class. He then finished his B.S. at The Ohio State University where he was heavily involved in Real Life and H20 church. He also was a member of Delta Sigma Phi fraternity, the Biological Sciences Scholars, was an Office of Diversity and Inclusion scholar, and served on the Homecoming Court during his senior year. As a medical student, Kabwe's is heavily involved in his church Rock City and serves as Assistant Regional Director for the Student National Medical Association. This group is dedicated to supporting minority medical students and raising up culturally competent physicians. In his role he helps to support the mission of SNMA at 16 medical school chapters in the states of Ohio, Michigan, and Indiana. He aspires to run for National Vice President this coming year. Kabwe is interested in practicing Family Medicine, with special focus on Osteopathic Manipulative Therapy to treat musculoskeletal symptoms, pediatrics, women's health, and the special needs and LGBTQIA community.
Kabwe Educational History:
2011 - HS Graduate, Maumee City Schools
2015 - BS in biology, The Ohio State University
In progress - Doctorate in Osteopathic Medicine (D.O), Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine
Connect with Kabwe:
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