My path to attending RCSI-Bahrain has been anything but traditional. I was born and raised outside of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. I then moved to New York City in the fall of 2009 to attend NYU for my Bachelor’s degree. While at NYU, I took most of the required pre-medical courses and also studied abroad at NYU Abu Dhabi. After an incredible four years, I graduated from the Gallatin School at NYU with and individualized degree in “Global Public Health and International Human Rights Development” with a specialization in the Middle East and Africa.
After finishing my degree a semester early, I had the privilege and honour of working full-time as a Clinical Research Aide at Weill Cornell Medical College/New York Presbyterian Hospital in NYC. While at Cornell/NYP, I served as a coordinator for clinical trials investigating treatments for children with a rare genetic Neurodegenerative condition. Although this job was incredibly rewarding and intellectually challenging, something was missing; I realized that I could one day be one of the doctors, not a bystander. This is what I was meant to do.
It was at this time that I began to investigate different opportunities to attend medical school outside of the USA. When I found RCSI-Bahrain, everything changed. It seemed like the perfect option for me in every way. Firstly, it was affiliated with RCSI, one of the world’s oldest and most reputable medical schools. Check. Secondly, it was in the Middle East. I studied Arabic for two years while at NYU, and after spending time in Abu Dhabi I had already experienced life in the Middle East and knew that I loved it. Check. More so, this branch of RCSI is in Bahrain, a country renowned for its traditional culture and beauty, but also for its modernity, open-mindedness, and multi-cultural population. Check. Lastly, although the program was 5 years instead of the normal 4 years as it is in the USA, I decided that this extra education was beneficial. After flying to Bahrain for just 2 days to visit in May 2013, I decided that this was where I wanted to study medicine. With the help and guidance from the Atlantic Bridge staff, this plan soon became a reality.
I can confidently say that my time thus-far in Bahrain has been nothing short of transformative and rewarding. Being in my second year in the Medical program, I am extremely satisfied with the excellence of the medical education I am receiving, the quality of the University’s facilities, the calibre of the professors, and the social atmosphere in Bahrain. One of my favourite aspects of RCSI-Bahrain is that the staff and students alike are from all over the world and everyone is very warm and welcoming. The medical education is top-notch, rigorous, and I feel as if the quality of the education is no different than what I would be receiving at home. An added bonus is that Bahrain is a beautiful country, with clear blue seas always within sight. It has all the comforts of home and more.
I would encourage anybody to look into RCSI-Bahrain if they are dedicated to medicine, willing to work hard, adventurous, want to study medicine in a diverse cultural environment, and don’t mind occasional hot and humid weather!
Family and friends back home in the US always ask me “Why did you leave the US to study medicine?” This is an understandably valid question that I have been asked countless times. To these people I would reply: “I wanted to challenge myself. Challenge myself to not only study medicine and become the best doctor I can be, but also to challenge myself personally and culturally. To move away from everything that is familiar helps you grow and see the world in a whole new light. I want to become the most educated, experienced, well-rounded, and tolerant doctor I can be. This is in the best interest of my future patients.”
I wish every prospective medical student the best of luck in your search for an ideal Medical School. Do not take it lightly; it is an incredibly important decision that will shape you as a future doctor. Whatever school you may choose, I encourage you all to embrace your own individuality with unwavering dedication to medicine wherever you may go.
Best of luck, and I hope to see you in Bahrain!