Myrha Qadir ‘21 | MD/MPH | UNC School of Medicine

Pursuing an MD/MPH at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine, entering class of 2023

Undergraduate major: History of Science with certificates in Global Health & Health Policy and Theater

Significant college activities: Certified Nursing Assistant (various Psychiatric Hospitals), Princeton South Asian Theatrics (President), McGraw Tutor for Physics/General Chemistry/Organic Chemistry/ Molecular Biology, Physics II Head TA, Naacho South Asian Dance Company, Big Sibs, PICS Summer Internship at St. Stephen's Youth Program, PICS Summer Internship at Montefiore/Albert Einstein College of Medicine (with one publication), French Summer Study Abroad (Aix-en-Provence), Senior Thesis on the development and mass implementation of the IUD as a population control/eugenics device in post-colonial India

Words of wisdom about being prehealth at Princeton: I was always on the fence about medicine, since it felt like I was playing right into my parents' hands (they always wanted me to be a doctor and make them proud). Originally, I wanted to go into history or the arts - hence the certificate in theater and major in history - but I resolved to keep the option for medicine open in case I changed my mind later. While juggling premed classes on top of all the requirements for theater and history was challenging at times, I am so glad that I did that, because after my first History of Science class junior year, I realized there was a way to combine my passion for history and the arts with my love of the sciences - especially the way the sciences can be applied to help (or unfortunately, also hurt) individuals and their communities. I discovered how important having a historical perspective is in medicine, particularly in working with marginalized patient populations.

The most important piece of advice I can give is this: do not lose sight of the values that motivate you, and be open to changes in your "plan." I did not commit to applying to medical school until I was absolutely sure that it was what I wanted to do! How can you be absolutely sure? Well, it's hard and it varies from person to person... but for me, the factor that solidified my decision was working with patients and providing them care firsthand as a nursing assistant. Do not be afraid of changing your mind about medicine if you get patient care experience and realize it is not for you. Reach out not only to premed mentors and resources, but also to people who are going into other healthcare careers. There is so much out there for you if you are willing to give different things a chance - your values and your satisfaction with your life are the most important.