Story of Tia McCadden M.D.

 “I feel like the program chose me. The day before receiving a postcard encouraging me to apply for the program, I was ready to give up on becoming a doctor. It had been 5 years of rejections, and I was beyond discouraged. Right after my interview for the program, however, I knew that this program was built for someone like me–unyielding and resilient. My spirit was renewed the moment that I was accepted. Everything from small groups to having a gathering at Dean Sistrunk’s house. I do remember Dean Taylor making me stand in front of everyone and go through Heart Failure, both left and right-sided. I’m sure it wasn’t too exciting for the rest of the class to watch me, but it’s a moment from GEMS that I’ve never forgotten. The GEMS program allowed me to strengthen my skills to be a better student. The program enhanced my confidence, and showed me that I too could be a doctor, and that I was not defined by my scores on a standardized exam. Without the GEMS program, I would not be where I am today. Your path may not be like everyone else’s, but that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t lead to the same endpoint. You are unique, gifted, and necessary to the field of medicine. Remember that you are stronger than any obstacle that may surround you.”