Could you tell us a little bit about your educational background?
I did my undergraduate studies at the University of California Riverside, where I graduated with a Bachelor of Science in biology and a minor in neuroscience. I further went on to complete a pre-medical post-baccalaureate program at Loyola Marymount University.
What first got you interested in the healthcare field as a career choice? There are a lot of career options in the field -nursing, physician assistant, etc., what made you decide that genetic counseling was the right practice area/career choice for you?
I have been interested in the healthcare field for as long as I can remember. Very soon into my college experience, I began volunteering at local hospitals and getting involved in my community. I was really passionate about working in a clinical setting, so much so that my initial goal was towards a career in medicine. However, after completing many clinical and educational involvements toward a medical career, I stumbled across the field of genetic counseling. Prior to my post-baccalaureate program, I had actually never heard of genetic counseling. Upon more research, I learned how underrepresented the Middle Eastern community is in this field and further knew this would be the perfect fit for my goals - working in clinical healthcare while simultaneously being an advocate for my patients. I aim to further spread awareness of genetic counseling services, most certainly in underrepresented groups.
What type of obstacles have you had to overcome on the road to getting your education and in particular in pursuing your Genetic Counseling degree?
The biggest obstacle I had to overcome on this journey has definitely been trying to overcome imposter syndrome. As previously mentioned, I was originally pursuing a career in medicine and then decided to abruptly change the course of my career goals when I learned more about the field of genetic counseling. Since then, I have felt a constant need to not only prove that I am capable of becoming a genetic counselor but that this career goal change was something I unquestionably wanted to pursue.
What are you most looking forward to about beginning your Genetic Counseling studies?
I am most looking forward to the clinical rotations and the exposure to different specialties of genetic counseling. It will be such a great experience getting to work with genetic counselors of various backgrounds and becoming familiar with the day-to-day work between each specialty area.
What is one fun and interesting fact about you?
I am afraid of heights and rollercoasters, but I have gone skydiving twice. Absolutely would not go a third time, though!
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