Being born and raised in Pakistan by two physicians- my mother, an OB/GYN and my father, an ophthalmologist- I moved to the United States in tenth grade due to political instability in the country. I faced a cultural shock. I had attended an all-girls school in Pakistan. My school in the US was co-ed with three hundred students in my class; I was the only student in the entire high school who wore a headscarf. After being nominated to be the student president of my school in Pakistan, I moved to a school in the US where my peers couldn’t even pronounce my name. My school in Pakistan enforced a uniform; my peers in the US wore designer clothes the names of which I couldn’t pronounce. But my parents had taught me to find value in human ability and mannerism, not in looks and financial status. I studied hard at my new school, enrolled in advance placement courses and got involved in student groups. My teachers and peers started to notice my academic excellence as well as my skills in leadership, public speaking, and art. I graduated high school with a Summa Cum Laude and a full ride scholarship to The Ohio State University.
Starting college, I knew I wanted to pursue medicine. Ironically, throughout high school, I had dismissed medicine as a career; I wanted to create my own path, unique from that of my parents. I explored politics, architecture, hospital administration, and even dentistry but the kind of emotional challenge and human interaction medicine offered, no other profession could. I started college as a sophomore due to advance placement courses and found my way into research and volunteering at a free clinic. At eighteen years of age, I applied to medical schools. My young age became a hindrance in my acceptance. But Dr. Capers, the Associate Dean of Admissions at The Ohio State University College of Medicine, offered me a seat in the class of 2017. I graduated college in the August of 2013 and started medical school the very next day.
Throughout college and medical school, I have remained involved in diverse interests. Maintaining work-life balance keeps me healthy and excited about life. In my free time, I paint, draw henna tattoos and write reflective pieces as a form of stress relief. I spend Saturday evenings with my family and devote Sunday mornings to my youth group that I serve as the adviser for. I am obliged to the mentors through whose guidance and encouragement I have reached my place in career and talents. I wish to play the role of a mentor for the next generation, fostering in them self-confidence and self-realization; being the adviser for my youth group has allowed me to do so. In my portfolio, you will find samples of my career achievements and diverse interests, and experience with me how these have shaped me for the field of ophthalmology.