Dike Udensi; University of Connecticut class of 2016; Major: Biological Sciences; Minor: Psychological Sciences; UConn Post-Bacc Program completed spring 2018; Tufts University School of Medicine MD program class of 2023
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Why did you choose to pursue a career in healthcare?

I chose this path because healthcare was the perfect combination of my love for human interaction and the sciences.

What were some meaningful extracurricular activities that you were involved in while at UConn?

KUBE (Kids & UConn Bridging Education): Mentoring younger students
Weightlifting: Building my body and mind
Delta Epsilon Psi Fraternity Inc.: Reinforcing my ability to grow as a leader

What were some challenges you have faced along your healthcare journey so far, and how have you overcome them?

Through the entirety of my time as an undergrad, I felt like I never had enough money. Even when I found the cheapest rent in the area, it was only a matter of time before I ran out of funds, so I had to work throughout my undergrad and postbac. That being said, I appreciate the perspective gained from such an experience. I struggled with efficient study methods in the earlier years of my undergraduate work, and frequently doubted medical school as a viable option. After countless trials and errors, I eventually found what worked for me and stuck with it. Now in medical school, I find myself building off of that lesson, as I repeatedly refine my approach to match the changing demands of each passing day.

What did you do during your growth year(s) and what did you learn?

I took a gap year after undergrad and another after my postbac. My main goal during these years was to expose myself further to the field of healthcare to see if I truly enjoyed the work or if I was just romanticizing the entire idea. During this time, I learned that I was DEFINITELY not a fan of working night shifts perpetually, but that I still loved being part of a team, focused on the shared goal of high quality patient centered care.

What are some ways that you take care of your mental health and overall wellbeing?

Weightlifting, Muay Thai, BBQ/Smoking Meats, and Meditation.

What advice do you have for aspiring pre-health students?

Consistency over everything. Exercise regularly. Keep in touch with the professors/TAs that you admire/have a great connection with. Its ok if you don't ace everything, just keep pushing.

What’s something that you wish you knew when you were in college?

No one has it all figured out, and no one is supposed to.