Final Paper


Daniel Obasi


1. SK: [0:00:01.74] Okay.

2. DO: alright, So, um, this is a verbal consent script. Um, as you know, um, Steven, you have been asked to participate in this interview, uh, to help me complete the assignment that I have in this course. Um, and this interview is voluntary. Uh, if anytime you wanted to stop. Uh, the interview just asked me, uh, if, um, if at anytime you don't want to ask you on the questions I'm asking, uh, just say so we can move on, um, with your permission, I'll be recording our interview [0:00:42.62]

3. DO: Your interview recording will not be anonymous. However, they are other people who will have access to it, or me and the instructor and the TA. And, uh, interview recordings will be posted online to a secure website and never downloaded on, see a local machine. If you have any questions or concern about the assignment, that I am unable to answer for you just say it now, and I’ll put you in touch with my professor [0:01:15.88]

4. DO: Uh, do you have any questions now? (0.05)

5. SK: I do not.

6. DO: Do you agree to participate in his interview and have the interview recorder?

7. SK: Yes.

8. DO: Okay. (0.13)

9. DO: Okay. Let’s get to it.

10. DO: So, (0.20)

11. DO: so, pretty much, um, let me see (0.25)

12. DO: [0:02:01.88] So pretty much, uh, my dad, the, um, the interview subject is going to be about, um, minorities. Um, It's going to be like minorities of like work in the medical field as a minority. So that's the interview subject. So I'm about to start, uh, with the interview questions. Thank you for, um, having the time to talked to me, Steven appreciating you for that [0:02:29.57]

13. SK: Yeah, of course, man. =

14. DO: [0:02:31.23] Okay. Lets get started.

15. SK: So thanks again for letting me interview you Steven. As you know, I'm interested learn about your perspective and experience regarding being a medical student. Uh, maybe we should, maybe we could start by telling me about your daily life as a medical student.

16. SK: [0:02:51.28] They typically, um, I wake up earlier, uh, for, um, around four, um, I work out with my fiancé [0.02:57.88] And then um, I we, I go to the hospital anytime between like 5:30 in the morning, depending on what rotation I'm on [0:03:04.49]. And then, um, I will probably stay there until about 5 or 6:00 PM sometimes later, depending on again, on the rotation that I'm on, um I'll come back, I'll eat and then I'll study for whatever I'm going to have left [0:03:19.45]. And, you know, everything got to changes depending on what the team that I'm on requires me to do [0:03:26.32]

17. DO: Yeah.

18. DO: And, um, you know, uh, Like I've, I've had the honor to call your friend for so many years and, uh, I guess I've seen a lot of growth in you, um, you know, and, um, however, you know, there are times when, uh, we'll call you or I would text you and, uh, you know, you seem a little stress in, uh, um, so, um, And are you seem stress from like studying and prepare for exams and stuff like that.

19. DO: So, my question to you is like, how do you manage to, like, how do you manage your time management with like so many materials, especially being in medical school, yeah, but that’s a lot, so, how do you manage your time with time management to be prepared for exams? [0:04:19.65]

20. SK: [0:04:21.71]Um, well, first off, I appreciate you.

21. SK: Um, there's a time management is more like. Um, I struggled with that initially because I would, I was always the type of person who would just kind of, I do what I feel like I should have done at the time. And I don't necessarily have a schedule, but what I found have helped me a lot, which is like, kind of put a schedule at the beginning of every orientation of the amount of things that I need to do per day.

22. SK: And just stick to it and also always scheduling something that I personally enjoy to do. So I lift mostly every day or at least five times a week. And that usually helps me stay kind of same in medical school with the amount of studying that we have to do. Um, but I think a little, I mean, you're going to have to be stressed in medical school.

23. SK: You guys kind of like the normal. Um, I guess state of being, because you're taking care of patients all the time, still trying to keep up with studying. So I think a little bit of stress is not necessarily with that [0:05:23.24]

24. DO: Um, so [0:05:23.69]

25. DO: so like, you know, I haven't been, like, I haven't been exposed to like the healthcare field. Do you feel like. You know, minorities, like, you know, are treated equal equally when it comes to like care or do you think they're treated unfair once a perspective, a perspective on that?

26. SK: [0:05:50.67] Um, yeah, I mean, I do, to be honest, it really depends on a lot of things.

27. SK: I guess, what you would consider equal or fair or, you know, I guess what you kind of make of every interaction that you go through. Um, I mean to say that there. Isn't some sort of, some form of like, I guess, different treatment, depending on your background, you know, that would be pretty untrue to say, but I don't know that there has been different treatment that has prevented me from like progressing in my education or anything like that [0:06:25:53]

28. DO: Have you by any chance, you know, um, chance been like, um seen something like that happened while being in the healthcare field, you know, that, like, something you have seen.

29. SK: [0:06:43.89] umm, All the time. Yeah, for sure. Um, and a lot of times it is

generally. No, it doesn't come from about place. I guess it's, it's pretty much the amount of like the doctors that have the ridiculous amount of work to do kind of find these shortcuts in their mind to kind of like cruise through.

30. SK: Um, it's kind of that, that, uh, we've talked about this, I guess before that, um, same, um, the patient that I had. Those kinds of really just like not opening up and kind of not talking to us as much as you use, like an African-American guy. It's pretty much the patriarch of his family, very strong guy taking care of family first.

31. SK: Um, and so like, I guess there's like some form of internal bias of like African Americans being compliant with their medication or like not trusting the medical system. So, like sometimes doctors don't even try, like they come to a point where like, you know what, whatever it is, what it is [0:07:43.67]

32. SK: And, you know, once you sit down and talk to them and kind of reminded me a lot of my dad. So yeah, it was very similar personalities. So, um, Once I sat down and talked to him a lot. He's like just change 180 degrees. I've been in situations where patients have asked me very inappropriate questions when they realize that I'm from Syria, which is fine.

33. SK:I don't personally like have a pretty thick skin. I don't necessarily like, take those comments to heart. I just make a joke of him and just move on [0:08:12.39]

34. DO: um, I’m sorry. How does that make you feel? Like, things like that.

35. SK: [0:08:16.99] yeah, I don't really care to be honest. I mean, Um, I don't expect that from everybody, but, um, I don't personally, it doesn't bother me because I know that their intention isn't bad. I think that's just what they've grown up around. And, you know, maybe their dad at some point or their relative or somebody who they grew up around made that joke or.

36. SK: They have like kind of certain stereotypes in their mind, which is fine. Um, but yeah, it doesn't really bother me. I mean, I think those slowly have been phasing out because the new generation is a lot more exposed to a lot of different cultures.

37. DO: Yeah.

38. SK: So, I don't think those things happen as much with the younger generation. [0:09:01.53]

39. DO: yeah, definitely. I don’t know how, um, for me personally, man, I don't know how I would deal with something like that, Cause it kind of makes you feel like, you know, this people don't want me to be here, like um, you know I’m studying, I'm putting in my time I'm trying, you know, you know, like I'm trying to, you know, take care of them.

40. DO: you know.

41. SK: [0:09:27.23] umm.

42. DO: I just feel unappreciated from me, just say it makes me feel some type of way, but like, I'm glad for you now, like you have that mindset that, uh, you know, that mindset, to like, you know, just, it doesn't bother you, You just gotta do your work, get out cause if you do your job if that makes sense.

43. SK: [0:09:48.28] I mean, is that just your job that, that affects your care for everybody else, Right? So like the moment you're at your job or at your. The ones who are taking care of patients and you go into a room and then you let a patients come and get under your skin. You're pretty much pretty pissed off for the rest of the day or whatever amount of time that you're at. Right. So your mind, isn't really clear to take care of any other patients that you're going to go and see like five minutes after ten minutes after an hour after.

44. SK: So, like, to me, it's more like you, you initially said, like, it kind of makes you feel like they don't want you to be here. They don't want you to do something, but like, why does it matter what they want?

45. DO: Yeah.

46. SK: You know what I mean? As long as, as long as they have the autonomy to decide how their care goes, but they don't have the autonomy or the choice to decide where you should be and what you should be doing as a human, you know? [0:10:36.23]

47. DO: yeah, definitely.

48. [0:10:37.00] So as long as you're there, you're happy you're doing your job. That's all you can do [0:10:42.15]

49. DO: Yeah.

50. DO: Oh, like I said, that's a good mindset to have the one that you have right now. So I think that that's good. And, um, you know, it's good to like give that advice to other minorities, you know, to like in it's own character pretty much, but moving on, um, was medical application, like in our process difficult for you being a minority since, you know, like I said, I don't know if you noticed, but the acceptances, uh, percentage is low for minority. So what was it difficult?

51. SK: [0:11:24:85] It is, is, is difficult to assess that because I don't know what thought process somebody was going through. I guess, looking at my obligation.

52. SK: I mean, was it applying to medical school? Generally speaking is, is different. Is it a good thing? I don't think it's an easy thing to do, but also applied pretty late. Um, you know, my name is Steve last name kamori and so, although I am a minority, like my name doesn't really reflect that. you know, typically speaking, I don't really have a heavy accent.

53. SK: So, like people who see me or not generally just, don't just assume that I'm Syrian, unless I say something. And I do, because I don't want to, I don't necessarily think that I should hide that, but I don't think that that in my opinion, to me, / / in my own, in my own case, I don't think that has played much of a role, like in my brief, in other aspects of my life. It has, but not really in medicine [0:12:20.20]

54. DO: yeah. Uh, the reason that I, that I asked that question is because, you know, I've, I've been to like, uh, you know, different medical school tour, and those give us a good, uh, you know, um, what is it. likeschool info, like what was it called? The pack package where it informs everyone in school acceptances rates and, and all that.

55. DO: So a lot of the schools now I've been like UT in Austin that, uh, not Dallas, San Antonio, all those hospitals, um, presented for minorities, uh, are low, you know to be accepted, so that kind of like, kind of made me start thinking like how the view, like how the medical application process is, you know, having that acceptance rated for minorities.

56. DO: Know what I mean? So,

57. [0:13:24.45] yeah. I don’t know. And I guess also depends on how you look at it. So, I guess the way I personally look at statistics as if they apply to the population, not the populations, not individuals. So, your case is very different from somebody else's case. You've probably been through a lot of different things, not to say that, um, the way you look or what you've been through, doesn't affect your sense of acceptance.

58. SK: It's probably, I mean, at some point I level it does. Um, but at the end of the day that people were looking at your, your application are human and whether they know it or not, like they more likely than not have some sort of biases, but it's, it's a very complicated issue to say that somebody's acceptance is solely determined on one thing or one thing more than another. You know what I mean? Because you kind of have to be able to like sit in the perspective of whoever's admitting the P the people / / [0:14:18.21] and, and understanding why they're making the decisions and based on what, um, but yeah, it's not really my place to actually like comments on that or talk about that just because I don't know exactly what they look for.

59. DO: Yeah.

60. SK: Cause even though I've made it right, um, I'm looking at a sample size of one. So I can't say just because they've accepted me for a certain reason. Then they're accepting other people for the same reason or that's exactly what they're looking for in an applicant [0:14:25.25]

61. [0:14:44.99] You know what I mean?

62. DO: yeah, definitely, I understand where you coming from.

63. DO: Um, right. Moving on. Um, has there been any challenges you have experienced being a minority, a minority medical students have shaped the way of thinking on how healthcare is run or cared for?

64. SK: [0:15:06.36] Uh, yeah, for sure. For sure. Um, so experience as a minority first, I think what affected me the most is not being like English, not being my first language that affects, that affects a lot of the door, especially the like taking tests and stuff like that.

65. SK: Um, in terms of how healthcare is run. We don't tend to have a very good social safety net regardless of how you look at it. From whatever perspective. I think some people argue for a, I guess they complete socialist healthcare system. So people argue for a complete private healthcare system. And I have no idea where to go, but I think we need to find solutions for like, to have a better social safety net, because a lot of people fall into the cracks [0:15:56.30]

66. SK: Um, especially like, um, it's mostly socioeconomically disadvantaged population, which happens to also be like minority populations [0:16:06.31] Um, so they fall a lot into the, into the cracks because they don't have any insurance to cover them. Um, and a lot of things in the U S. the one really nice thing about the U S is there's a lot of things that are available that are not available in other countries, like very advanced treatments, but you can only afford them if you're pretty rich.

67. SK: Cause otherwise you'll file for bankruptcy. Like one of the main reasons for bankruptcy is medical bills [0:16:31.15]

68. DO: yeah.

69. [0:16:33.62] So what's the point of having all these treatments if you can't use it?

70. DO: Definitely. That is true. Um, yeah. well, I appreciate you, like, you know, giving us information about that.

71. DO: Um, so we already touched up on this but did race influenced how your application was processed?

72. [0:16:57.52] Yeah. I don't know, to be honest, I don't, I doubt it. I doubt it has it maybe at some point

73. DO: uhh

74. SK: because of, um, I guess maybe because medical med schools have, I've heard from other sources that they have like quotas or something like that, but not, not necessarily like for, I don't know if they had that for me specifically, because I don't like my race or whatever you want to classify me as doesn't exist in medical school.

75. SK: Right?

76. DO: yeah

77. SK: Like I fall under Caucasian, but I'm Armenian, Syrian.

78. DO: yeah. But,

79. SK: so, yeah

80. DO: yeah, haha. but you're right there. Like there's a certain amount of, uh, uh, African-Americans, uh, Hispanic or Chinese. So there's different races that, uh, med schools are required, which it is true. I mean, now you can do research, but it is true [0:17:51:03] um, definitely, um, I’m I don’t know if you understand, like how that happened, but… I guess

81. SK: I do not. I never actually like looked into it because I guess to me, it's like, it never really affected how I was going to go about my job. Like, like let's say I knew that the percentage of people who look like me or whatever, you know, like, let's say the people who are serious getting into medical school at a rate, like lower than. Whatever specified population that wasn't going to change. Anything that I did as a person to get there.

82. DO: definitely

83. SK: Right. I was still going to put my a hundred percent. I was still going to do my job, you know, try to do as well as I can on the mcat and all the extra curricular activities So, and then I just like upline, pray to God I get in, you know [0:18:38:59]

84. DO: yeah, uh, it's crazy. Cause, uh, my, my, um, my ex, um, her mom is a PA, right. And telling me that, uh, She is Caucasian. Um, but she was telling me that, um, she wanted to be a doctor. Uh, she was rejected. Uh, and the reason she got rejected is because, um, apparently, you know, like they, they, um, don't want to like, you know, more minorities. You know, at their med school or the med school

85. SK: umm

86. DO: and her, but her GPA was good compared to like, for example, like 3.6 gpa, someone else was 3.5 but the person I've got 3.5 since they were minorities to get in and she ended up not getting it. So, you know, understand where the, you know, um, I guess we come in from it's your hard work. I think for me personally, I mean, um, um, I do think it's, you know, kind of does, but sometimes I feel like it is your work [0:19:33.84]

87. Sk: [0:19:45:25] you have to understand that, like, so a GPA isn't necessarily a determining how good of a doctor you can be. Right? So like a 3.6 for this three point at 3.5, that's really nothing.

88. DO: uhh

89. SK: I mean, whoever, most people who got that, whatever score are both pretty smart.

90. DO: Yeah

91. Sk: And I think what medical schools are doing a better job at right now is taking a look at the person or the people that they're admitting. Because a lot, like if you have a person. You know, regardless of their background

92. DO: yeah

93. SK: who have like a little bit less of a GPA, right.

94. But at the same time, I've had so much more life experience and like, know how to handle different situations in a better way. I think you'll get yourself a better doctor going with that applicant over somebody who has a little bit higher GPA. You know what I mean?

95. DO: yeah

96. ST: Like stats don't reflect the entire picture of an applicant. And I feel like. A lot of people really kind of like show off with their stats, but like

97. DO: uhh

98. SK: A lot of people really kind of like show off with their stats, but like neglect a lot of other aspects like facing adversity, for example, you're right. If you were, if you're a person who grew up facing discrimination all your life and like, you know how to deal with that, it doesn't get under your skin and you know how to deal with other people.

99. DO: Yeah

100. SK: I think that's a valuable skill to learn that at 4.0 GPA, doesn't tell you about [0:20:58.58]

101. DO: Yeah, I appreciate you saying that. Um, uh, let's continue. Um, so how, how has your family impacted your journey through throughout medical school?

102. SK: Uh, they've been great. They have helped me a lot get here. Um, these told you have like really high expectations, which like gives me a lot of stress sometimes, (0.20)

103. DO: ahh

104. SK: but you know, I'm just academics being like the most important thing in our life is just how it goes.

105. DO: definitely

106. SK: Um, but yeah, they've been really helpful. They've been like overall a pretty good support system for me [0:21:34.16]

107. DO: yeah, yeah, but I mean, I, I must be, must be, um, difficult of course, you know, not being able to see your son, but I mean,

108. SK: mhhh

109. DO: I mean, at least a proud of you, you know,

110. SK: mhhh

111. DO: throughout the journey in med school and your life, basically. I mean,

112. SK: Yeah, they understand that, like for me to get somewhere where you need to go through this route [0:22:00.93]

113. DO: yeah, for sure. Uh, as you look at, in medical experiences, you would like to share that

114. SK: hmm

115. DO: that you enjoy the journey more.

116. SK: hmm. A lot to be honest, I've had (0.05) I guess it's really the collection of experiences and working at a hospital they're like Parkland in Dallas, which was like the County hospital. You really just get to, umm, meet all a lot of different patients from a lot of different backgrounds

117. DO: yeah

118. SK: And it just kind of gives you an appreciation for how people grow up so differently that they can look at the same situation and see completely different scenarios.

119. DO: Yeah.

120. SK: Um, and it leads just, it's amazing. And so, like I have one thing I guess, to reflect on it and be appreciative of is, is that like the exposure that I've had to different populations and different ways of doing things [0:23:05.94]

121. DO: hmm

122. SK: that kind of just make you a better hopefully doctor in the future?

123. DO: Yeah. Yeah. Fine. That was fine. Um, Did you want to share something else? You know, like, do you want to have something else? I remember, um, when we were talking last time, uh, you know, you were telling me, you, you enjoy volunteering.

124. SK: Volunteering was huge for me. Um, because it kinda, well, that's like another aspect that, um, you use that Western at least is putting effort. Um, and you know, how we talked about, you know, minority students having a little more difficulty in terms of like getting through medical school and stuff like that.

125. DO: hmm

126. SK: And, um, like we have a few programs that basically allow you to volunteer with medic like middle schoolers and high schoolers [0:23:54.60]

127. DO: yeah

128. SK: And that kind of changes the trajectory of their lives because that's like in a lot of cases, they are. Um, the first students who like graduate college or go to medical education and their entire family. So having that exposure earlier on, you know, able to volunteer it's helpful because at some point I was there, like I don't have any medical personnel in my family. So, um, you know, given the, given that my parents wanted me to be a doctor for no, just no apparent reason other than they just want it to, you know, there's, if I, if they didn't then.

I don't think ever in my life, I would have been like, you know what, I want to be a doctor.

129. DO: yeah

130. SK: So I think that having that early exposure in your life changes a lot. Um, especially when you see a lot of people that look like you, who are like in position of like being a doctor and stuff like that, it kind of helps a lot with your, um, I guess conceptualizing the idea of you becoming that [0:24:46:95]

131. DO: yeah. Yeah, fine. Um, you know, it's, uh, you're, you're almost down with like mass school, right. You almost like on the finish line. Uh, but if you could, um, if you could go back and redo medical school, is there anything that you, that you would do differently or improve or improve more on?

132. SK: Yeah. I mean, I, I'm kinda, I'm kind of doing a lot better now than I did the first two years in terms of time management and, you know, just generally handling what is being thrown at me, but also like you can always look back and find things that you can improve on. But I guess time management would be one of them. Um, and kind of just getting more involvement (0.05)

133. DO: yeah

134. SK: in general in terms of like juggling different specialties, getting involved in more research, doing more volunteer work, um, Let's learn a lot more, you know, not like not just from books, but that's one thing I would've done better. And it's all got goes down to time management because if your time management is bad, then you're killing so much more time than you need to behind the books. So it was just time management, but it just kind of determines everything else [0:25:59.06]

135. DO: yeah, definitely. And, uh, last one, uh, Uh, what advice could you give an upbring in medical student?

136. SK: Uh, I got a, it's the same thing that I would have changed about my things. It was like, kind of reach out to as many upperclassmen as you can, like kind of ask about like study strategies that have worked for them. Um, like build connections with positions, people that you think, um, Kind of like shadow a lot of doctors and stay in contact with them is the main thing.

137. SK: Right? You can shadow a lot of doctors if you want, but, and not stay in contact with them. And you kind of lose a lot. Um, but stay in contact with them, show interest in whatever field that you're interested in and try to get involved in research early on. And I would work on my, I mean, if you were before getting to medical school, I would work on my study habits prior to medical school [0:26:51.79]

138. DO: yeah

139. SK: That's the one thing that's like, it would be a game changer for you. And, but still once you that transition from med school to. Or from undergrad to medical school is almost like the transition from like college basketball to the NBA. There's just a huge leap that you're =

140. DO: yeah

141. SK: going to have to struggle initially to be able to kind of take off. And, you know, and one thing that I would want to mention is like a lot of like low rates of depression in medical school are pretty high anxiety and depression. Like mental health is a big issue in medical school. So make sure that you like have the people, like a good support system for you. Like a lot of friends, um, at least close ones that you're able to reach out to you and have a good support system when, while you're going through medical school cause that will be a game changer for you.

142. DO: Definitely. Um, I'm uh, I appreciate the interview. I just want to say like, You know, uh, the reason they're, they're very reason, reasons that I chose you, Steven, you know, like for, from my project, um, we, we have been friends for a couple of years, uh, like, uh, four or five [0:28:01.38]

143. SK: yeah

144. DO: It’s been, been

145. SK: Time passes by pretty quickly.

146. DO: I mean, look at me, I'm 23 and I was like 17, 18, 19 when I first met you. I remember we were playing intramural and you came to the game and I think it says something to me when I was like, Uh, I was, uh, running or something. You said something to me and I'll forgot, but I, that was my first time getting into like, you know, see and told some of the guys I’m like, who’s steven. And they're like, he used to be a Tke and now his trying to go to med school and stuff like that. And I would hear that you studied so much, man. Like you go to JPL, you do this, you do that. I'm like, damn, like, that's someone I kinda want to look up to, you know, like we're both born I don’t know, if you were born, um, born and raised in different countries, right.

147. SK: hmm [0:28:55.52]

148. DO: And, came to the United States when we were little.

149. SK. I came to the United States 2012 so I was like 19, when I got here.

150. DO: Its crazy. And for me, like, we didn’t we came here with nothing, I don’t know if you had the same situation, but I didn't have any resources when we came to the US, both my parents worked at Wal-mart for a low wage but still managed to put food on the table.

151. DO: Um, growing up in Nigeria, like we'll literally had nothing, but in our families and one of the things that we pride ourselves and it was education, and that was like the main reason our family came to the United states cause the opportunites here are endless and my parents sacrifice a lot.

152. DO: You know, for me, I, my siblings, some kind of better life, you know, from a difficult environment that we came, you know, we came in, we came from. So, um, I've had a privilege, Steven to see your journey throughout, um, ungrad in college, uh, to being in med school, like I said, yeah, I've, I've heard, I've seen you like putting so many hours even weekends [0:30:12.61]

153. DO: Ah, that’s crazy. Cause like weekends, …