Perfectly Imperfect on the Journey to Medicine


medicine, people, journey, mcat, medical school, students, struggle, classes, physician, feel, mental health, shadowing, perspective, stressful, doctors, life, studying, realize, failed, point


Tiffany X

Candice Blacknall MD, MBA

Candice Blacknall 00:01

Hi, everyone. I'm Candice, blacknall CEO and co founder of GABA, and welcome to another motivation Monday. We are doing these to normalize the human experience on the journey for medicine. And I'm so excited to be inviting our wonderful guest here. Tiffany is a pre med student, and she's going to come on and share her amazing journey to medicine with us when listening will feel inspired and motivated based on hearing just how it's it's normal to struggle. Yeah, it's normal. Hey, hi. How are you today? Doing well, how are you? I'm good. Happy MLK. Look at us doing things on holiday.

Tiffany X 00:45

a day off, though, at least for me, I still gotta study and hit the books.

Candice Blacknall 00:48

Oh, yeah, that's true. That's true. It never stops. I really did not even realize that this was the holiday until maybe a few hours ago. I'm not gonna lie. I was like, Oh, this is the holiday. That's okay. Why Anyway, let's give some folks on the roll in how are things been? I feel like I've been talking to you at ages.

Tiffany X 01:07

I've been going okay, I'm just chocolate. You haven't kept up with cancellations and stuff. Stress is high. So just keep that down.

Candice Blacknall 01:21

What are they doing? So are they what I heard about on the cancellations? And then there weren't enough slots? And like, what is going on with that?

Tiffany X 01:31

Yeah, so um, they actually canceled multiple January MCAT, dates in California, and I think Illinois. And so like that kind of put everyone for a loop because they only open registration up for January and March MCAT. And then the rest of the MCAT, like the April and May ones will open up registration in February. But for everyone who's applying the cycle, like like myself, it's stressful, because they're like, you want to get your MCAT done and see it prior to submitting your application.

Candice Blacknall 02:01

Yeah. Oh, okay. That's not good. I think. So they're doing the same thing with step two, is what I understand is like, they're not enough slots, or they're canceling folds. It's like, it's a nightmare on both sides of the house. So it's fine. Anyway, I'm glad that you're here though, despite all the chaos in life. And I'm excited to have this opportunity to share that your story on this motivation Monday. So why don't we just jump in? Right. So go ahead. Let's start with that age old question. You know, what was your journey to medicine? What is it been like?

Tiffany X 02:34

Yeah, so for starters, if anyone isn't aware of who I am, my name is Sydney, I run the Instagram page at arguing for medicine. And so I would describe my journey into medicine as very turbulent,


I would say, I came

Tiffany X 02:47

into college, knowing that I probably wanted to do something in medicine, but along the way, taking classes, and a lot of personal circumstances, I had a lot of doubts. I had a lot of roadblocks, difficult classes, and just struggling to find the guidance to, you know, lead me, you know, into medicine in a more streamlined path. But I learned along the way that having bumps and pitfalls is not a big issue. It's just learning to get build the resilience to get back up, and then reaching out to people wherever they may be to help you. California Irvine in June of 2020, with a BS in biological sciences and a BA in political science.

Candice Blacknall 03:35

Congrats. Yeah, thank



Tiffany X 03:38

demick. So traditional, yes. But I don't think anything about my journey has been traditional. So you know it in many ways. Like even though I didn't get the graduation, I think I took everything away from UCI that I needed to. And so I'm currently in the first of two growth or bridge years, also known as gap years. Oh, I

Candice Blacknall 03:59

like that growth years. Yeah. You know,

Tiffany X 04:04

I had heard it from Dr. cadeaux. She's also on Instagram. And I really liked that because,

Candice Blacknall 04:12

yeah, yours kind


of gives a little bit of like a more negative, like, Yeah,

Candice Blacknall 04:16

it does have a connotation,

Tiffany X 04:18

but I definitely think like these, these gap years are definitely more growth years because everyone improves themselves so much more. And I rarely ever see anyone say that, you know, I regret my gap years. there truly are growth here because you you truly do grow as a person. So yeah, so I am working as a research specialist at the lab that I did research at, during my undergrad. I'm also working as part time as an MA medical assistant, and just studying for my MCAT preparing to apply this cycle, which is you know, stressful as always.

Candice Blacknall 04:52

Yeah, yeah. So I imagine and I remember us talking you You just said you know, your journey to medicine hasn't been the most tradition. And I know we kind of everyone's stress is about being the cookie cutter perfect student going up, no one expects to fail the class or get setback or have any family struggles. There's a lot of pressure out there. So like, what about your journey was really non traditional? And how did you overcome some of those challenges?

Tiffany X 05:19

So right off, in my freshman year, I actually withdrew my first quarter. And I would say that was the first day of the journey, I would do my first quarter because I was really overwhelmed. I had a lot of family and personal circumstances.


Two days before,

Tiffany X 05:38

I could not, so it was, like, it was a stressful time, because Also, I'm one of the first in my family to try to pursue medical school. And so I had all I had known is like, your GPA is so important. And

Candice Blacknall 05:51

yeah, yeah.

Tiffany X 05:52

Right off the bat was really stressful. So there was that, right. But I got back up, and I continued to along the path, but then I hit organic chemistry. And my second,

Candice Blacknall 06:03

why is that everyone's a nightmare. I loved her. No, it was Jim Kim, that was my nightmare

Tiffany X 06:09

for you, but I hate organic chemistry. And it was like a subject that I have never experienced, like, I, my famous story of why a lot of people end up finding me is because I talked about how I failed it twice. And it was at the point that I failed it. I failed it the second time at the beginning of my junior year that I thought like I really can't go into become a physician and go into medicine, like I'm done because my GPA was tanked. But so the story goes that I took some time off, it took about six months off, to really like reconnect with why I wanted to go into medicine. My purpose for becoming a physician. I was considering law at the time. So my name for Instagram arguing for medicine actually became that during that time, because I couldn't figure out what I wanted to go to law school or medical school. Yeah, but ultimately, you know, after reconnecting with more patience, and realizing that what I wanted to change about medicine can only be accomplished by being a physician, I decided to stick on this path and, and stay on that journey.

Candice Blacknall 07:19

Yeah, you know what, you said something so important. And I feel like it's come up a lot. It's we've done these motivation, Mondays and you, you said, you know, you had to remember, like, why you started this journey. You know, and I think that's so important to stay grounded in the why, especially when you have those setbacks. But do you think that was during the time that you took away? Do you feel like that reflective piece, like helps you come back?

Tiffany X 07:50

for a second? Yeah, for sure. Um, for me, when I took the six months off, I actually didn't do anything like medical, medical school related. Research search. And, you know, I was earning a biological science degree at the time. So I was still taking a couple classes. But, you know,

Candice Blacknall 08:07

I would say like,

Tiffany X 08:08

that six month period was like, I was really, uh, one of my lowest points, because I was like, you know, my, my GPA was over my science GPA was around like a three. Oh, and I was like, and as being a, an Asian applicant, I kind of knew, like, where I stood in the game, you know? Yeah.

Candice Blacknall 08:24

As I was, like, like, what

Tiffany X 08:26

am I? What am I odds? What are the likelihood? And so I kind of needed to find it in myself the motivation and the inspiration to continue going, because, you know, I knew the journey was going to be long. Yeah. And, and I knew that no, no matter how many inspirational quotes, or or nothing, yeah, get me through these classes. Unless I myself know that, you know, this is exactly what I wanted to do. So I definitely would say that six months off, it really gave me you know, a clearer perspective of what I wanted in life. And then also, like, you know, the gusto to be like, I'm going for this. What happened?

Candice Blacknall 09:06

Yes. To get through know, for sure. And I, I love to I love your story for two reasons. One, you weren't afraid to give yourself a break. And also you weren't afraid to say like, I need to get away from medicine a little bit to get some perspective. I feel like when you get on this journey, it becomes so all in all consuming. You know, if you do you have almost guilt. You ever get guilty that you're not studying? Oh, what is that? All the

Tiffany X 09:34

time all the time, like, and like and I think it was definitely a process for me, because, you know, my parents raised me to be very much like you, when you sit down, you must accomplish your task and you can't get up until you finish it. And so going into college like sometimes when you're taking classes like physics and like you're studying with these different pathways, like you got to get up like

Candice Blacknall 09:53

Yes, your mind is just learning Yeah.

Tiffany X 10:01

Um, so yeah, I definitely think that it was it's been a process to teach myself how to take care of my mental health and also to value myself and, and my energy levels I'm, I definitely would say I'm not perfect at it now because I'm studying for the MCAT. And I'm always tired now but it's an act of practice, you know? Yeah, absolutely improving on your mental health and your self care.

Candice Blacknall 10:23

Yeah, for sure. I don't think anyone gets it perfect. When we talk about work life balance, that is an ongoing thing, Sunday's your balance is up here. As your balance is down here. Like you're just like, you know, today's This is the best I can do today. Great. And so yeah, but I love the fact that you've taken your journey, and you've turned it into an opportunity to mentor and coach other students. Like I think that's very, very powerful and impactful. When did you decide and I'm asking you this very pointedly because I know, I still feel so like, vulnerable when I tell my struggle, like when did you decide okay, I'm comfortable sharing my story, because I think my story is gonna help someone else.

Tiffany X 11:05

Yeah, I don't, it was a real process. I'll say that. As I started, I actually started my Instagram page, like, just like everyone else was like, I just want to document my medical school.

Candice Blacknall 11:15

Yeah, nice pictures,

Tiffany X 11:16

like some study notes. And I think I really started like, transitioning it into like this more like, you know, sharing the lessons that I've learned, right? When I I finally passed the final retake of okay, because I realized I was like, there are a ton of people out there who fail. Okay. And and probably felt, Yes, I do. Yes, I was like, and if there could at least be one person on Instagram, who would be like, Look, failing, once, twice, three times is not going to, it's not the end of strengthen you. I really felt like that perspective was needed. And I think Additionally, you know, I love everyone on the same community, but I felt like there was that need of someone who brought a more mental health aspect of it, because when I myself was struggling, I was looking for that person to be like, you know, it's okay, if you need to take a step back, because I never had. And, you know, and to doubt, you know, in moments in the journey, and so, I think that was probably December of 2019 was when I started. But it's certainly been a process like what I originally started, you know, sharing my journey. It was a little stressful, because I was like, you know, pre meds and like, people go into medicine maybe cost me judge each other. Yes. Comparison? Yeah, ironically enough, when I'm on a public platform, like Instagram, I feel like I judged myself more, because I'm like, it. Yeah, there's literally someone right, like, I'm watching you.

Candice Blacknall 12:47

Right, exactly.

Tiffany X 12:48

And so and so I've gradually grown to understand, like, I conduct my my posts, and like, the voice I put on Instagram a little bit differently is like, I try to encourage people not to compare themselves other people, because I feel like that ultimately was what, you know, really caused, like a deterioration of my mental health. And so trying to constantly push that, that undertone, and, and make sure my posts are really not like, comparative, like they very rarely share my successes, other than like the big ones like passing welcome. Yes, but really pushing people to look at their own successes and to see the joy and they're successful. There's large or small.

Candice Blacknall 13:27

Yeah, yeah. And it's hard. It's hard, because you have pretty much all of social media is centered around some timeline or news feeds, you can constantly you're constantly bombarded with this messaging, and your life is not as perfect as it shouldn't be, you're not as smart as you shouldn't be, you're not as tall or as pretty as you should be. And I love the idea of creating a space where you can just be honest about your struggle and honest about your challenges. So I definitely see your platform as being done. So kudos to you, man. But don't forget your folks. Yes, kudos to you. And it's definitely something we're focusing on, you know, in creating gabbeh it's like, they're the Reddit and the student doctor network are nightmares. Honestly, like, you can go on there, and someone could just destroy your whole day. And so there needs to be a safe space for students. And I definitely see that in your platform, and definitely, in what GABA is doing. So, congratulations. Um, I feel like you talked about what the hardest part of your journey to medicine was kind of like you know, through it, but if you haven't, you know, what was the hardest part of your journey?

Tiffany X 14:32

I actually don't touch upon this on my page often, but I feel like the hardest part was having self confidence to believe in myself that I could go on this journey because, you know, my, my family has actually not been super supportive of my journey into medicine. And it's something I don't necessarily touch upon too much. Because I feel like you know, sometimes it's, it causes a pity party. I don't want it to be like about that, at least for me, but you know, my parents, you know, being from a Vietnamese background have always been Press that you'll be amazed at what matters. Success

Candice Blacknall 15:02

matters. Yeah. And, and being,

Tiffany X 15:05

you know, the eldest daughter, the eldest grandchild of my generation when I started to fail, and when I started to stumble, it was a, it was an awakening for myself, because it was the first time that I was realizing I'm like, I don't know how to deal with these struggles. I don't know how to get myself out of these ruts. And so I definitely would say that was the hardest part is learning to believe in myself, because, you know, I would say that, well, my family supported me like from afar, I definitely pushed myself alone on like, overcoming those major hurdles in the medical school journey, our journey into medical school. Yeah, I would definitely say that's been the most difficult part.

Candice Blacknall 15:44

I can definitely imagine that, you know, when you said that, something that just occurred to me is that, you know, in terms of like, ethnic and racial stereotypes, you know, like, the Asian stereotype is like super smarter, super successful all a, like, the multi dimensional, like, hyper perfect student. And I never really thought about the How does that feel as a human being and dealing with that that experience? You know, what I mean, a be constantly having to come up to that that level? Because it's really not, it's really something people have created, you know, people are people, right? And so like, I don't know, have you have you felt like that was something that you struggled with just based on the stereotypes around your ethnicity?

Tiffany X 16:24

Um, yeah, for sure. And I think that is one of the, I guess the appeals to my post is because like, there are very few Asian it, I hate calling us influencers, but that's kind of what we are, like, could you talk more with a mental health board aspect, or talk about failure, because of the fact that our culture has always kind of pressed into us that, you know, success is all that matters. And you know, being first all that matters, and never showing weakness? and weakness can be a struggle can be a downtime, can whatever the definition might be. And I think about it a lot. And because I'm aware that, you know, I think back to my younger self, and I wish I had seen someone like me now it's like, it's okay to struggle, you know, and, and I think I would have really, really resonated with that. And I'm aware that social media, like different people come across my pages. But, you know, through the kind of mentoring coaching program that I do, I come across a lot of people other similar backgrounds who say, like, you know, thank you so much for validating my feelings. Because,

Candice Blacknall 17:31


Tiffany X 17:32

I don't hear a lot. And so it's something I tried to keep in mind often, especially when I'm on this platform.

Candice Blacknall 17:38

Yeah, I love that I so funky anatomy said you keep achieving and achieving because it's what you're programmed to do. And also thank you for for the story, because it's very relatable. So y'all stick with us. So epic is sticking Hang in there. If you have questions, as we're kind of talking about this, definitely put them in the chat. Because I try to give at least 10 minutes to like, put some to ask some of you ask questions. I kind of want it to be more conversational. So yeah, so do that. And then we talked about your journey that medicine you are applying right now, which is so exciting. I'm so sad, right? In June. Well, it's here. Basically, it's here, under the someone on another forum caught in the cult, the COVID advantage, because COVID is such a stressful time that you can pretty much just say, Oh, you know what, I couldn't do that. Because you know, COVID, you know, I didn't do as many shadowing because COVID Yeah, so I'm wishing you all the luck in the world. What are three actions that students listening now can do to prepare themselves for the challenge of being pre med and kind of going into the beginning part of going into medicine?

Tiffany X 18:51

Yeah, when you sent me this question, I was like, I really need to think about this. Thing is like, I don't like vague actions like,

Candice Blacknall 19:00

Oh, yeah.


I'm like, that doesn't help it. What

Candice Blacknall 19:03

does that mean?

Tiffany X 19:06

So I think first is reaching out to someone right now. Like, whether it's someone that you aspire to be like, someone who wants to do research for someone you want to shadow, like, reach out like today, that's my entire the entire premise. A lot of my poses that, you know, we're all afraid to do it today. Like there's tomorrow, like, they may catch me. And so be honest with myself and how many times I've been rejected from shadowing for research from postback programs. I'm like, there is no better time than today, even if it's at 5pm. And you know, business hours are ending. Just do it anyways, you know,

Candice Blacknall 19:42

yes. The first part. Yeah, yeah. And the second thing

Tiffany X 19:46

I would say is, don't worry about like being on track right now. You know, in the medical school application process, because I know for a lot of people, you know, my brother is actually a sophomore right now. And he's hoping to go into medicine as well. And he was like, I'm worried I don't have shadowing, I don't have clinical experience. And I kind of told him, I was like, you know, you know, a lot of schools will understand that, but focus on what you can't do right now, which is focus on grades, you know, reach out to organizations that might not be recruiting right now, but get your foot in the door be like, Hi, my name is this. I'm really interested in your organization, you know, would you put me on like the next email list that you send out your recruiting volunteers, um,

Candice Blacknall 20:31

so that that aspect, so really


focusing on what you can focus on right now, which is your grades and potentially networking? And then third, I would just say, like, live right now, because I yeah, people during COVID, they're like, this time is terrible, I can't get anything like my life is on hold. And I'll be so honest for myself, during COVID is when, like I saw my Instagram take off is when, yeah, take off, is when I saw, you know, my mom, the ways that I put a mental health best improve, because I really took the time. And I was like, Okay, if I cannot focus on this right now, and I cannot go to research, I cannot do this, I can focus on improving myself. And so I've actually seen the most amount of personal growth in this time. And I actually think that's, that is the best thing that you can learn to do when you're on this journey to medicine, because there are going to be times where like, every single opportunity is gone. And it's like the most off you'll ever feel. That's horrible. Yeah. But it's important to continue trying to improve yourself. And, you know, just continue to, you know, remind yourself of who you are, what you like to do and live in the moment. You know, if you're gonna watch Netflix for two hours, live,

Candice Blacknall 21:46

live in the moment, just watch it.


Exactly. Don't worry about like, Oh my gosh, the MCAT is approaching and I haven't bought the books or no, don't worry about next semester. I'm taking physics and, and biochem. And how many didn't know just live in the moment because I feel like and I've heard this perspective, a lot that you don't we're always pushing for when we become a doctor will feel like this, when we become a medical student will do this, when we get into this research lab, like our lives will be perfect. And it never will be




Nope, that's no fatalities just live in the moment. Enjoy it now.

Candice Blacknall 22:19

Honestly, Zun IRA said, you don't need to tell me twice. A living in a moment right now. Yeah, I think that's a really great point. So something we talk about with students, especially when you go to sit down and write that personal statement is like your story and being able to retell your story. Well, you can't tell your story if you haven't spent any time with yourself. And so I think that's really, really important advice. And, and, you know, something that we don't talk about is how important it is to have that opportunity to ground yourself in order to go through this journey. Right? Like, I can't even imagine how you feel. I'll ask you, how did you feel when you fail the outcome the first time like, what, what was the line of emotions and thoughts? Like Where were you? What did you do take us back.


Um, so the, it's a long story. But the day that I feel the day that I found out, I thought oh, come my computer actually crashed and I lost 12 paper 12 page paper that was due for the class the following morning. And then in that, like chaos, and like I was in tears, and I was just frantically rewriting because I'm like, my computer's not gonna come back on like, this is it? I broke up with my boyfriend.

Candice Blacknall 23:33

It was a bad day.


It is a bad.

Candice Blacknall 23:41

Like, this is a bad movie.


Right? It's so like, you know, I'm sitting here like, you I like, you know, and at the time, one of the one of the things I talk about is like, you know, I was renting a living room space in an apartment, I didn't even really have a space to myself to really like, like, let all these motion. emotions. Yeah. Right. Because I was like, my roommates are like literally, like in the other room just like, finals. And I'm like, I don't want to be bawling. Because like, this is not my day. Yeah. Um, so I remember, like, going to Starbucks, and you know, getting like a, like a triple shot on ice and just drinking that the entire night and basically letting your happiness like finish the essay. And I actually had a final bad day as well. So I was walking to the to, to the final, and actually collapsed on the side. Because of that stress, I was like, I was everywhere, like, you know, my brain is the fact Yeah, just I just failed and I broke up with my boyfriend and yeah, like all these different things. And so I think it was that it was the following day after I feel that I realized I'm like, okay, something about how I approach this path into medicine. It has to change because it's not sustainable, like this and that and that was the beginning of when I said like, I need to recover. Connect with myself I need to reconnect with a mental health. Because I think it's pre med, we often put mental health on the back burner life will take care of itself. But yes, I did, I realized that I really needed to actually take care of it. And so I went through a lot in that six months, like, there was a lot of like, you know, I switched over, it was in that those months, I was like, you know, law school sounds like a great fit. Because my I'm reading and writing naturally come Well, to me. Yeah, you know, I was like, I was getting the first four point I was in my life ever, in political science classes, and my and my friends. And, you know, my, my family were saying, you know, this, is it like this. Yeah.

Candice Blacknall 25:41

Yeah. Right.


And, and I remember thinking when I got that first 4.0, in those political science classes, like I, I should have been thrilled because this is all I could ever want it.

Candice Blacknall 25:51

Yeah, I remember


thinking I was like, I'm actually not that happy.

Candice Blacknall 25:55

And I think that was the moment I was


like, I think this is it. Like, I think going into medicine is what I want to do, because it's what makes me happy, even though it's difficult. So yeah, but it was a journey to get there. Because like, we went through the lowest of the lows and trying to just, you know, recover, you know, despite my mental stability, yeah. And then going on to, you know, figure out what I want to do. And then, you know, somehow piecing the two together. And so yeah, that's how I'm, you know,

Candice Blacknall 26:23

I love it. I love it. And I love the fact that you were able to redefine success for yourself, right? Everyone else is like, oh, you're getting four point O's in policy. That's your career. Like, that's it? You're you're doing it? And you're like, no, yeah, 4.0 or not.


And I think that was shocking for a lot of people because like, and for me myself, because I was like, you know, I always streamed the four point, I like seeing it on my transcript. I was like, This is the moment that I know, like, this is what I meant to do. And I was looking at it. And it was like, it was not only the first 4.0. But the second four point out, and I was like, it's not making me happy like this. I still, there's something out there. And that's kind of when I was like, Okay, I need to revisit this whole pre med thing.

Candice Blacknall 27:06

Yeah. Come back to it. Yeah. Because you it, no one ever says that the role that makes you happy is supposed to also be easy. Like, no one ever says that, for some reason we hear easy. When we say when someone says, Oh, this is what you're destined to do, we hear easy, okay, it'll be easy, then it's what I'm destined to do. But like in your story, what I hear is like, it wasn't easy. And that's primarily because for you to do what you're destined to do. Well, it couldn't be you had to reground in yourself, to be able to really be the kind of doctor that you're going to be in the future.


Snap to that.


I mean, honestly, like, I think it I think people now who hear my journey to where I am like, this is so inspirational. But at the time when I was going through this, like, I didn't know, I didn't know. And that's why I say to so many people, like it's okay to doubt because like, I really didn't know, like, Yeah, and I and people laugh because I'm like, Tiffany, like, I look at you and like you have the the like the independence of a doctor, you have the firmness, and I'm like I really didn't know because I really lost touch with who I was and what I wanted in life. And so that reflection process, it's all it's what I said, what I preach so much, because I'm like, it really is what got me to this point that I was against my life.

Candice Blacknall 28:35

Yeah, yeah, I'm totally with it. So I had the same doubts you had I applied for social work programs, because I was like, No, I don't think medicines for me. I haven't taken any science classes, got accepted into social work programs. And I was like, I feel nothing. Everyone was like, yeah, and I'm like, this is not it. This is not it. I know. It's gonna be hard, but I don't think this is it. So it's about going beyond just like hard. Like, what is hard, really, you know, when you're getting to do the thing that you dream of doing? Right? I love that. I love Love, love. I love your your goals. So in terms of, you know, like, what's next for you? What's next? I know you're gonna you're going into medical school. But surely that's not a that's not the end. Right.


You know, a lot of people have asked me that, and I think it's evolved over time. So originally, so the first activity that, you know, kind of pushed me or gave me that inspiration to go into medicine was I was volunteering at a free clinic. And I was it was my freshman year and they said, Okay, we're gonna plan a health fair this year. And I was like, okay, like, what are we gonna do? And so that experience of planning that whole thing and like being in I call it working with the community for the community? Yeah. Really, like, made me realize I live in Southern California. And so a lot of times people think about their like Disneyland and stuff and um, for me, because I've lived here so long, I was like, you know, that's like one aspects. Yeah, Southern California. Yeah. So setting up a healthcare for me made me realize like there is actually a need for like free clinics and more accessibility of community healthy sources and hiking resources for people in this region. So, you know, in grad, when I graduated from UCI, I was like, Okay, my future goal is to go on and to set up my own free clinic.

Candice Blacknall 30:25

So that I love it.


Now for me, but it's kind of evolved to because you know, as my mentoring program has taken off this year, I'm realizing that like, I really enjoy talking to people and helping them succeed. And so somewhere in the future, you know, I want to be able to give back to students like myself who can't afford to pay for advice. But

Candice Blacknall 30:46



you don't need that little bit of push like that. Either that motivation or like that one question answer that, could they just change how their journeys going? So I somehow want to incorporate that. Yeah, I like that. I think the third thing, which is kind of off on the side at this point, until I figure out what to do is, you know, I've done a lot of research on health term health care worker burnout, or physician. And I actually had an incident in my free clinic where a physician was having kind of a little bit of a mental breakdown, because she was so burned out. And so after seeing that, it really motivated me to try to figure out how do we change and adjust the perspective on physician burnout and healthcare burnout, because, you know, that that event was so impactful for me. And, you know, I think it's something a perspective that we can bring more forward in healthcare so that we can you know, prolong physician longevity in the field. Yes, we go so much. And we should be able to practice as long as we need to, and not get burned out by the system.

Candice Blacknall 31:50

Yeah. Absolutely, absolutely. snaps to that we need a little bit more support. It's definitely a culture in medicine, that's like, you're not allowed to be human. You're not allowed to be tired or to be afraid or to cry. And it's definitely definitely like, I think about our doctors the same way I probably think about like servicemembers in the military, we they do sweetness, they do so much. You know, health care is such a demanding profession. So there has to be services support to help even students get through that because I deeply believe that some of the mental health issues you see a doctors when it comes to burnout, they started long before they were doctors, they started when they were pre meds, medical students, and they just never learned, you know, yeah, exactly. It's like you said they put mental health on the back burner. And then mental health was like, no more. I'm gonna become a priority for you today, right now in the middle of the Oh, are you about to have a breakdown? Exactly that? Yeah. Yeah, I think especially right now with COVID.


I think I had a friend even asked me they're like older, like, I love the way she put the question because it really made me think she goes, You must be so thankful to not have to be in medical school right now. Because you would be having to deal with the COVID patients. And like all the stress of you know, dealing with, you know, you know, the the patients and all the stress of the PP and such. And I thought about that question. And I was like, you know, this might be the difference between someone who, you know, perhaps they want to go into medicine and someone who knows and want to go into medicine because yeah, they're willing to step into that pandemic. And like, they kind of know what they're getting themselves into. But it also made me realize, you know, in watching this pandemic play out, like how important mental health resources are for health care workers, because all of a sudden, you see all these companies saying, like, we'll send you goodie packages, and that'll help mental health care packages and things. But where was that like before? I think the pandemic really has just caused issues just bubble over. Already boiling. And now that Yeah, fizzled over, like what do we do to clean up the spill but not empty the pot? You

Candice Blacknall 33:57

know, exactly. I love that analogy, caca. We clean the spill around it. But we don't, we don't need to touch the pot. Like we're not gonna deal with the the deeper issue here. We don't have time for that. We're just gonna clean up around the pot. I love that analogy. I love everything that you're doing. And I just think that like your work is phenomenal. I'm so excited for what you'll do in the future. In the field of medicine, I honestly believe we need more health professionals that are grounded in themselves and in their mental wellness, like, how can you teach? How can you heal someone if you're not healed? I don't understand that. I don't get that. For students that are listening that want to stay connected, how can they connect with you? How can they help? How can they support


so you know, I think the best way is just to go follow me on Instagram at arguing for medicine, but and on my Instagram page, there's a button that you can press this email, you can also email me there, but I definitely would say I'm more active on my Instagram page. Most people know like I answered within 24 hours unless like there's a big exam coming up. But other than that, I would just say that you don't necessarily have to support me but find other people in the community that resonate with you and support what you what you hope to see in healthcare, you know, because I think, you know, especially for pre med students or pre health students, we're so centralized on who we follow, we follow the doctors, only the doctors

Candice Blacknall 35:20

don't do that.


We don't want to we don't think about like, you know, what, the nurses or the farm Yeah, experiencing, but I always tell my followers that, you know, when you follow, like a nurse or a pharmacist, and have different backgrounds as well, you learn so much more about health care than just from the physician perspective. And I think that's important as someone who hopes to be a physician one day to understand the perspective going on all the healthcare system, because you're entering that. So you want to know everything about that system, you're about to enter?

Candice Blacknall 35:49

Yeah, no, I absolutely agree. And I'm not gonna do the most ridiculous thing, which is to take this phone over here, in the middle of this live as planned and have to plug it up, because I'm that kind of person. And I definitely forgot to charge his phone overnight. So here's, here's me being human, y'all know I absolutely agree is it's sad when I see people get kind of siloed. In, in medicine, like we have to get to a place where we're comfortable working together. And we're comfortable asking questions, that depth, social media is a perfect, perfect place for that. You know what I mean? And if I'm following quite a few nursing accounts, and they're complaining about the same things we are, so it's not like it's a totally different world. Okay, folks, I have been so grateful that you all have joined us today on this motivation Monday. Thank you so much for tuning in. We do these every Monday, somewhere around one or 2pm, depending. And I hope that you all stay connected and stay encouraged. So if you are listening to this, I would love it. If you go to go gambling CO and sign up. We are building a safe space community for medical trainees like yourselves who have unique stories, and who are looking for a supportive community that's willing to admit like, yeah, I failed the class. And yeah, everything worked out. Yeah, I got it for 98 or something on set, or for whatever it is now. So if you're looking for your community, you haven't found your tribe. Come join us. It's a movement and we'd love to have you as part of our family. So thank you so much, Tiffany, you're amazing. I know that you have so much studying to do. Please let me know if I can help or support you in any way. Yeah, thank you so much again, Candace, and thank you for everyone who


tuned in for the live. Yeah, go hit up GABA, with GABA.

Candice Blacknall 37:32

Yeah, go GABA Co


GABA Co I absolutely love the work that you guys are doing. I took a look at what you guys are doing and

Candice Blacknall 37:41

and I definitely think it It helps to bring more perspective in you know, and, and I just put it for anyone out there


listening or may listen to this later. You want to have more perspective on bills from different backgrounds because it helps with it helps with understanding the patients that we were hoping we will hopefully one day serve, you know, and understanding those perspectives and and just being more human being a better human. Yeah, so yeah,

Candice Blacknall 38:03

I love that. Yeah. Yeah. be human. Y'all. Go out there and beat you, man. Thanks so much, if any thanks y'all for listening today next week, and I will catch you in like a second. Okay. No worries. See ya. Bye, Candace. Bye bye.

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