Despite a few bumps in his academic journey, Ross University School of Medicine (RUSM) alum Lincoln Islam, MD, refused to give up, continuing to refocus. His perseverance paid off last month when he landed a residency spot in family medicine at Hoboken University Medical Center.
Early on, Lincoln recalled leaning on newfound friends from the Medical Education Readiness Program (MERP) program when things didn’t go as planned. “They welcomed me with open arms, and it felt like I was with my own family.” And when he received word that his father fell ill before one of the United States Medical Licensing Examination® Step 2 exams, Lincoln remembers his dad’s cherished words. “He said, ‘Don’t worry about me. I’m in safe hands. Go take your exam. Go follow your dream.’ When it gets tough,” Lincoln advised others, “get tougher!”
During undergrad, Lincoln traveled to Panama and worked alongside family physicians as they treated patients in impoverished villages, established clinics and cared for the community. “It was life altering to see what happened under those conditions.” Back home, he recalled how the local family physician comforted his immigrant parents when their oldest child died in an accident. “He helped my parents through the grieving process. It’s those experiences that have inspired me to want to make a difference in people’s lives.”
Those experiences also drove him toward the field of family medicine and when it came time to apply for residency, Lincoln researched several programs. “I kept my eye on the prize and it worked.” The outdoorsy future physician thanked family, friends and the RUSM community for “not looking at me as another number in the system. My classmates and professors encouraged me to not let any failures keep me from earning that MD title. They motivated me to reach my goal. My advice to others is to never be afraid to reach out for help because even the smallest effort can go a long way.”
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