Meet Amanda Patterson, Medical School Graduate who will be staring her residency at Baylor soon!
Editor: Who is Amanda Patterson?
Amanda: I am 26 years old, born and raised on the south side of Chicago. I am a product of the Chicago Public School system. If I were to define myself I would definitely say I try to make sure that I am first and foremost a reflection of Christ and his love. Secondly, just walking in my purpose and understanding that my purpose is grounded in helping people. I am just blessed that my career kind of went in line with my purpose to be able to help people and extend the love of Christ in different ways.
Editor: What have you learned about yourself so far through the process of becoming a doctor?
Amanda: I never realized how stubborn I can be until this process. My family (my mom and my grandmother) would say, “that child is so stubborn.” When I had my mind set on doing something (as a kid it didn’t matter whether it was good or bad) I would go through doing it. But in medical school I realized that it was more like tenacity. Not just in terms of the material but even socially as an African American female in a profession that is predominately white and male. I had adopted the stubbornness about me that said “I don’t care what you think about me. With God’s help, I’m going to do this.”
Editor: How has your faith influenced your life and your choice to study medicine?
Amanda: I remember I started on this journey of pre-med when I was in middle school, the 7th grade. There was a program in Philadelphia called Physician’s Conscience Training Program. They selected thirty students from across the nation to prepare you for college and for the road to go into medicine. I remember my pastor at the time was preaching a sermon about The Purpose Driven Life and I remember praying, “God if this is your will, show me my purpose and if this is a part of it just make it be so.” I really believed that I learned what it meant to understand your purpose in life and that God has an assignment for each and every one of us. I don’t consider myself to be a genius child, a prodigy, none of those things. It showed that when God has a plan for you, he will provide. He will open up doors. I was one of thirty, nationwide. Through that program he just aligned me with different mentors and people that helped me to realize my potential to get me to the place where I am today.
Editor: Who would you say has been the most influential person in your life?
Amanda: Hands down my mother! She’s the one that would get on me on my stubbornness. But, I feel like the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. To see my mother, all that she has accomplished in her lifetime. As a divorcee when I was younger, as a single mom for the early years of my life and see how she switched career paths and went back to school when I was in kindergarten to obtain her master’s degree. She ended up getting another masters’ degree and now she is in a doctorate program. To see her faith and how she demonstrated that and never took no for an answer and didn’t have to say to me go for what you want to go for. She just always exemplified that. She has always been my biggest cheerleader and my biggest help.
Editor: What is something that you are dreaming of achieving embarking on this career?
Amanda: My biggest dream first is to die empty. If I can pour out everything that God has placed in me (whatever gift, whatever talent, whatever knowledge). My goal is to die old and die empty. I want to help people to live their full life in mind, body and spirit. To me that is health, that is wellness. That’s my goal, to teach people how to do that. Also, for believers, to show people that God has given us the gift of abundant life and part of that is in our bodies too.