Have you ever had a goal that you wanted to achieve so badly, that you would do whatever it takes to achieve it? That is the sum of my story of becoming a doctor, in 23 words.

Growing up in the poverty stricken and gang infested streets of Shreveport, Louisiana, the odds were stacked against me. Many of my friends and family members were serving jail time, or addicted to drugs. Some close friends were even killed amidst the challenges of the neighborhood.

With these influences in my life, it seemed that I was destined to turn out the same way, but fate had something else in mind. Whilst in high school I developed an interest in biology and medicine and my grades earned me a spot in a local magnet program called ‘The Fair Park Medical Magnet program’. Inspired by this experience, I began to dream of a career as a doctor, even though no one in my family had completed college, let alone medical school.

I applied to medical school three times and each year, rejection after rejection rolled in. Each year, I had to get back up and try harder. But, one thing my father always taught me was to never give up. That’s exactly what I did, and finally on the third attempt I was accepted and gained a place. In 2014, I graduated from Georgetown University School of Medicine with a Doctorate of Medicine (M.D.) degree.

Currently, I am a 2nd year Orthopedic Surgery resident at The University of Texas Health Science in San Antonio with plans to specialize in Reconstructive Surgery. I am also the author of “Overcoming the Odds: From war on the streets in Louisiana to war on terrorism in Iraq, how I successfully overcame the odds” (available now on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Books a Million)

Here are my top 5 tips to achieve your GOALS!

1. Give 110%. Always! No one will be successful by putting in only 50% effort. Work harder than the person next to you. In my medical school class, there were 200 students from around the country. The majority of them were from Ivy League schools such as Harvard, Columbia, and Yale. They were all extremely intelligent, which made for a very competitive environment, especially during exams. I admit, I’m not the most intelligent person, but I work extremely hard to get what I want. When my classmates read a chapter for an exam once, I read that same chapter three times, always working harder than the person next to me. In life, if you want to be successful, this is what you will have to do. Come to work 30 minutes earlier than everyone else, read an extra hour each day, and go to bed later than everyone else. Usually, I am the first person up in the morning and the last person to head to bed each night. If you keep this up, it will pay off in the end!

2. Overcome the odds and understand that you will meet resistance and obstacles along the way. During these times, don’t give up and stay patient. A lot people don’t know that I applied to medical school three times before getting accepted. Year after year, I was faced with failure and challenged with what seemed like insurmountable obstacles. I NEVER gave up. When others closed the door on me, I kept knocking until the door was eventually opened. Expect failure, learn from it, and apply what you learn from each situation later in life when you are met with new obstacles.

3. Ask for guidance and direction. In my case this was God, but this could be another spiritual leader or someone you respect greatly. Some days it may seem like nothing is going right and everything is going wrong. Keep strong during these times and have courage.

4. Live the life you dream of tomorrow by making sacrifices today. Sacrifice = Success. The sacrifices you make now will eventually pay off later. What sacrifices are you willing to make now (short-term) that will provide you with a long-term gain?

5. Speak it into existence. Keep the faith. Your dreams will eventually become reality. Write your goals down and speak them out daily. Successful people are always focused on success. They write down their goals and speak them into existence. Writing your goals down serves several purposes. First, it forces you to clarify what you want. Secondly, It forces you to select something specific and decide on what you want. But, understand that every dream or goal will encounter resistance and the fear of failure. From the very moment you first write it down, you will feel it. Writing allows you to face this resistance head on, and the opportunity to tackle it strategically.


Header image used on licence from Shutterstock

Medical Exam Prep would like to thank Dr. Antonio Webb for this guest blog post.

About Dr. Antonio Webb

Antonio Webb, M.D. is an Orthopaedic Surgeon resident and Motivational Speaker who has a passion for helping others.To learn more about Dr. Webb, please visit www.antoniowebbmd.com or email overcomingtheoddsbook@gmail.com