UMMSM Future Doc Series

UMMSM Future Doc Series June 2019

Featured Doctor Rick Lin

UMMSM Summer Programs completed: 2016 MCAT Prep
Undergrad: University of Miami
Degree: Bachelor of Science in Public Health
Medical School: University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Class of 2022
Hometown: Weston, FL

Why did you decide to pursue a career in medicine?

Prior to college, I had an idea that I may want to pursue a career in medicine but I didn’t really know how I would be able to achieve it. During my time as an undergraduate student at the University of Miami, an introduction to public health class really pulled me into wanting to pursue a career that would be able to have an impact on health disparities. Being a public health major was the first major step towards being determined to pursue medicine. In August of 2016, my twin brother, David, was diagnosed with leukemia. After being treated with chemotherapy, David didn’t go into remission and eventually went onto a clinical trial at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). In only a few short months, in January 2017, I lost David. My heart shattered and my life changed completely. Losing my twin brother had the biggest impact on making sure I go to medical school and is what drives my passion to keep going in medical school every day. There is so much research going on in the medical field and physicians are one of the first to bring novel treatments to patients who may have no other option left. I really wanted to be at the forefront of these discoveries and that is what fascinates me about the future of medicine.

What advice would you give to premed students applying to medical school?

The best advice I received when applying to medical school was to be genuine to your passions when you are getting involved in your undergraduate career. You don’t wait to be doing things just to check off the list of things that “people said you should do when applying to medical school.” It will be obvious when you are applying whether you really cared about your involvement or you were just involved to put it on your resume. If you are involved activities that you actually have a passion for then you are able to make a bigger impact. Another point is that you shouldn’t compare yourself to your other premed friends. Just because you see your premed friend is doing a certain involvement doesn’t mean you must have it as well when you apply to medical school. If you give careful thought into what you want to be involved in, you will be involved in things you care about and that is what will make you unique in your application.

Another very important aspect about applying to medical school is to not give up. This might sound cliché, but if you know this is what you want to do for the rest of your life and you put in the effort, you will eventually get into medical school. Everyone’s journey to medicine is different so you have to create your own journey and not compare it to others. Some people could have no gap years and others could have more than 5 gap years but at the end of it all those individuals become physicians. So, keep pushing forward and you will reach your goal of getting into medical school no matter what barriers bring you down!

Tell us about your UMMSM Medical Scholars Summer Program experience.

The resources that the Office of Diversity and Inclusion provided played a major role in my road to medical school. I was in the MCAT Prep program in the summer of 2016. It truly was so inspiring being in a room full of other students who were all striving towards the same goal. Being able to hear everyone’s different life stories and their journeys to medicine was so motivating. The shadowing experiences that the program provided were extremely useful and helped me critically think about the cases that I observed. The mock interview was helpful because it provided a way for a physician to provide me genuine feedback before I applied to medical school. However, I think that the biggest impact that the MCAT program had on me was the support that I was able to receive. The members of the office completely changed and helped me shape how I was going to pursue this career in medicine. This support was irreplaceable and I will carry my summer experience as I continue on this journey. This summer, I am back with MCAT program serving as a teaching assistant and I want to give back what this office has helped me with and help other prospective medical school applicants.

What do you do for fun in your spare time?

I have always been fascinated by exploring new cultures and learning about them. During my spare time, I love going out to different restaurants and trying out new cuisines and types of food. Also, I love travelling when I get the chance to. It is so intriguing to me how different the cultures are around the world.