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Ashley Queen Osuma – Medical Student

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What is your current title and role?

I’m a medical student at University of Illinois College of Medicine at Peoria who will graduate in June 2024.

Where did you grow up?

I grew up in O’Fallon, Illinois.

Tell us about your professional (medical, nursing, allied health, etc.) school?

My medical school is located in Peoria, IL. It is central Illinois area and puts me equidistant from my hometown (south) and Chicago, IL (north). My medical school is a small class size, close knit community; educators are truly dedicated to ensuring you succeed. I enjoy the environment because everyone invested in your education knows you very closely.

Tell us about struggles and challenges in achieving your goal and how you overcame?

In my path to medical school, I took my MCAT 4x, two years off after undergraduate, 1 unsuccessful application cycle. In these challenges, I learned the importance of seeking out mentors in spaces you like to join and ask for help to get there too.

Please share with us about your family and your support group?

My family has been my biggest motivator all of my life. Without their support and tough love, I wouldn’t be where I am at today. I always jump at the opportunity to spend time with my family.

Please share a memorable experience from your training that has stayed with you till today.

 A moment that will stay with me is the first time my preceptor let me complete a full patient encounter alone. It was a full-circle moment which reminded me how hard I worked to get here, and it reminded me how I wanted to continue doing medicine for the rest of my life

Please share a memorable teaching moment.

 A memorable teaching moment from my training is the instruction I received about how to break bad news to a patient. It taught me the importance of silence. We are also here to help patients navigate the emotional toll an illness or diagnoses. We don’t have to constantly overload patients with information, but we can help counsel them on next best steps for them as a whole

Please share a highlight from your practice/current role.

A highlight from my current role is learning all of the physiology of the common illness I heard about growing up. I enjoy knowing the “why” of how things happen to the body.

What do you like and dislike the most about working in healthcare?

I dislike the most seeing patients sad about a poor prognosis.

What are three things that you are grateful for?

I am grateful for my perseverance, good family support, and my friends

What excites you outside medicine?

My interest outside of medicine are working out (running and lifting). I also have a YouTube channel, so I enjoy learning new techniques for videography or video editing. I want to try to start teaching myself how to make my own floral arrangements as well.

What advice do you have for students interested in healthcare?

My advice is to figure out which part of healthcare interest them the most, not the most popular because of perks. I believe following your specific passion will make the hard work associated with healthcare feel more enjoyable than stressful at times.

What do you think the student of today needs to be successful in matriculating and graduating from professional school (medicine, nursing, allied health, pharmacy)?

I believe students need dedication, self-care skills, good study habits, and a skill to seek out useful resources (tutors, advisors, professors) when they may need extra help grasping a topic.

How would you advise or guide students to develop leadership skills, community outreach experience, research opportunities and clinical shadowing?

I would advise students to start by reaching out to their advisor at their school for any opportunities they know catered to your specific interest. I also would suggest by asking a healthcare provider that you know and trust, if they know of any opportunities for shadowing or research opportunities for you to get active participation.

How can we support and guide students to achieve good grades and be successful in standardized exams?

I aim to guide students by giving honest and supportive advice on how to reach their goals, while catering it to their specific needs or lifestyles. I also believe in promoting additional resources which will help students be successful, which they may have not known were there previously. I feel as if I delayed some of my success not taking the time to look for resources around me.