Jai Jung

There were some obstacles that I faced during my undergraduate career. I knew that I wanted to go into medicine, but with the DACA status, one would have to show four years’ worth of tuition in the bank account to attend medical school even if you got accepted. I knew that this was not possible for me, so I look for many different ways to establish my residency here in the States. While searching for options, I learned that a program called MAVNI (Military Accessions Vital to the National Interest) opened up to students like meaa. This program granted United States citizenship for those who join the U.S. Army. I took this opportunity to become a United States soldier in the U.S. Army reservist. As a reservist, I was able to apply and attend medical school while simultaneously serving my “new” country – the country I quickly adapted to, the country that slowly adopted me. Straight out of basic training, I wanted to start school. I was too late to apply for medical school, and I also realized that enriching my academic skill competencies for the rigors of medical school was crucial with my modest grades, and I knew I needed help. I was lucky to have come across the GEMS program. There are countless memories that I have from the GEMS program. From late study nights to early mornings to Exploration presentations, I consistently pursued my dream to become a physician. There was not a moment where I was alone. I was with the same cohort every day, and everyone in my cohort had the same dream of becoming a physician. We became a family, a support network; we are still together years out from the GEMS program. This family is one of the most valuable assets that I obtained from this program. Learning how to learn may sound cliché, but it is what I learned from GEMS. I took the study habits that I learned from the GEMS program and applied them throughout medical school. I am currently a 3rd-year medical student, and there are so many times where I have thanked the GEMS program during my clinical years as a 3rd-year medical student. As a 3rd year medical student, you are often asked many questions throughout a rotation from the residents and attendings. Sometimes, they are rapid-firing questions at you; it may be intimidating, but the GEMS program has prepared me well, and I am not as intimidated as my peers. Apply for the GEMS program if you need help. Applying to medical school is tough, and it is okay to ask for help and guidance. GEMS assisted me and guided me through the application process. Academically GEMS has significantly enriched my academic skill competencies and prepared me well for the rigors of medical education.