Uchenna Okoro: Rewarding pursuits
As M4 Uchenna looks forward to stepping out of med school to be an NIH Medical Research Scholar, he is making plans to remain connected to Michigan Med and visit Ann Arbor throughout the upcoming year. Here he answers five questions about what this opportunity means to him and what he hopes to learn about himself in the process.
I chose to apply because initially I was pretty undecided about what I wanted to do career-wise and I thought a year of research would make me more competitive no matter what field I chose as well as give me some time to reflect on what specialty I ultimately want to pursue.
The NIH interested me mainly because it's the NIH and has experts in biomedical research in probably any field you can imagine so I thought it would be a great chance to learn from mentors doing pivotal work in various fields of medicine. Also I'm a little biased because I'm from Maryland and it's a great excuse to be a little closer to home and my family for a year as well.
It felt really amazing to be selected! The selection process is super specific and all the final applicants had to fly out for interviews in early March. I met a lot of great students from other med schools all across the country. I'm just happy I was lucky enough to eventually be chosen for the program!
The NIH is on the forefront of biomedical research in this country and I'm looking forward most to working with mentors who are doing amazing projects as well as learning about all of the other groundbreaking projects going on in the institution. It'll also definitely be nice to be close to home for a year as well.
I'll definitely remain connected to Michigan Med! I can't miss my original class’ Match Day or graduation, so I'll definitely be back for those and probably a couple other times throughout the year. I'll also participate however I can remotely with my student organizations, such as the Black Medical Association, Admissions, and Student Council.