Name: Ashina Deepika Singh
Hometown: Gaithersburg, MD
Undergraduate College & Degree: University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC), Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Why do you want to be a doctor?
When I was five, my parents bought me a toy doctor’s bag and twenty years later I find myself picking up a slightly upgraded bag of instruments and using them daily. As a teenager I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis. My doctors were skeptical I would be able to achieve my dream of a career in medicine but ultimately I decided to go forward with my aspirations. Since then I have defied the odds and have remained in remission.
When I was a sophomore in college, my aunt was diagnosed with end-stage colon cancer. I will never regret the choice I made to stay by her side, while keeping her and my family afloat during the last five months she shared with us. It was the hardest thing I had ever done, and as a result I became surer than ever that medicine is what I want to do with my life.
As a physician, I hope to help people through experiences like those I’ve had, using the medical knowledge I have accrued in my now-teeming doctor’s bag.
Why did you choose the University of Maryland School of Medicine?
I was impressed by the faculty and students I met. The focus was really on teaching and learning how to be not only an intelligent and careful physician but also a compassionate one. There was this atmosphere of collegiality, and everyone I met seemed to put a great deal of emphasis on advocacy, involvement, and working together.
How would you describe the faculty and quality of instruction at the School of Medicine?
Excellent. I feel very prepared and feel that I have been provided with a good foundation in medicine to go into whatever field I ultimately choose.
What kind of relationship do you have with your classmates?
We help each other by sharing information, letting each other know what to expect for each new rotation, or by simply being a shoulder to lean on when we’re feeling a bit weary from a hard day. I’ve found a great deal of comfort, inspiration and respect in my colleagues.
What advice do you have for aspiring medical students?
To take care of people when they are most in need is a great honor and a privilege, and a humbling and fulfilling vocation. That will sustain you through the long hours of studying and sleepless nights. Medical school is no sprint. It’s a marathon, so pace yourself along each step of the way and enjoy the journey!