Like many high school students, I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life beyond attending college. My summer jobs were just a way to earn spending money, and they mostly involved menial tasks, until one summer when I found an advertisement for Enterprise for Youth. I was fortunate enough to receive an internship at UCSF’s Center of Excellence in Women’s Health, where I had the opportunity to participate in grant writing for research projects, as well as to shadow doctors during their day-to-day patient care.
It was at UCSF that I watched surgery for the first time, and witnessed how fulfilling a career in medicine could be. Meanwhile, my mentor at Enterprise, Hope, taught me how to polish my resume and put my best foot forward in a job interview. After I completed the internship, my positive experience motivated me to spend some of my free time volunteering at local hospitals, and eventually to apply for a competitive pre-med university program. That was 18 years ago. Now, as a general surgeon, I’m often asked what first got me interested in medicine, and I always think back to the summer I spent at UCSF through Enterprise for Youth.