My Journey from Tehran to Bussi Island, and a Prescription for Finding My Life's Purpose.

It isn’t always a simple task to recall a single defining moment or person that sends you on the path you are meant to take in life. My decision to become a doctor manifested itself through a series of childhood events and opportunities during undergraduate studies. I am an Armenian-Iranian, born in Iran and raised in an Armenian enclave in Tehran. At 18, I moved to the United States to pursue a higher education free from the oppressive and non-progressive culture toward women’s rights. I surveyed a variety of majors throughout undergraduate from business and accounting to a spectrum of science courses, which helped me develop fundamentals of commerce and establish a strong background in science. Through my education I became fascinated by the science behind the human body, and I felt motivated to pursue a career as a clinician.

Growing up in a 3rd world country, I learned about the challenges that many communities face accessing quality care and maintaining good health. Shadowing medical professionals, from optometry to pediatrics and family medicine in Los Angeles, California, I came to an impactful realization: I fiercely believe that everyone should be able to access and utilize fundamental health care services. I want to focus on educating patients on what medical resources exist and how to utilize them to prevent the onset of many compounding diseases. These convictions are my affirmation that medicine, specifically a career as an osteopathic physician is my true calling.

I am inspired by the moments where I find myself out of my comfort zone and in unfamiliar territory. It is rather stressful and nerve-wracking, but it is also where I experience the most personal growth. Whether it be traveling to a country I have never been to, talking to patients during my volunteer and shadowing experiences, or learning a new skill, I am continuously moved by how a few incidents of distress can have a lasting impact on my outlook and personality. Hence, after finishing graduate school in May, I will be traveling to Uganda in July as part of the next PNSO surgical expedition where we will provide surgical care to residences of Bussi Island under the capable supervision of Dr. Cundiff and his team. From the moment I attended his presentation at PNWU and learned about the primary focus of PNSO’s humanitarian surgical missions, I instantly knew it would be an adventure and an immense growing process that I had to be part of. I want to experience the value and importance of serving others and bettering lives. Through hard work and sacrifice in my own life, I understand that I can bring beneficence to the lives of countless people, beginning with the expedition in Uganda and ending through my career.

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