God is still in the business of performing awesome wonders and miracles. I am a living witness and proof to his faithfulness.
I came into the United States a few years ago with high hopes and expectations. Three things were of utmost priority to me, to serve God better, earn a master’s degree (MPH in biostatistics) and to pass the three United States Medical Licensing Exams – USMLE (which will enable me to get into medical residency). I am a foreign trained physician from Nigeria, and I believed getting a good score in the USMLE examination along with the MPH will ease my way to residency training in Internal Medicine.
God was with me during my journey and he was faithful. Despite several obstacles, I passed the first two of three USMLE examinations and I was a recipient of scholarships during my MPH. However, the summer of 2017 was a very challenging time in my life because I needed to do so many important things but very little time to accomplish them. I had to take the last of the USMLE exam (Step 2 CK) to enable me to apply for residency in the fall (September), but I also needed to enroll in a summer internship work to enable me to graduate from my Master of Public Health program.
I was so confused on what to do. I knew I needed the whole of summer to study for my board exams because typically I’m not at my best doing so many things at the same time. But the more I think about forfeiting the summer internship, the more it dawns on me how critical my financial situation was. I was so scared but I prayed and trusted God for the best.
I started my practical experience (internship) as a research intern around May 2017 in one of the biggest research institution/ hospital in north Texas. Amazingly, in my first week of starting the internship, I was offered employment to continue working with the institution after my graduation from MPH. This was a proof that God was with me in my decision making. This was so humbling to me because I had not even done anything whatsoever that could have impressed them. I completed the summer internship in August 2017 and I subsequently got employed full time as a researcher in the hospital. It was a huge blessing on my finances and my academic profile/resume.
The summer internship period was very busy, and I had less than 4 hours a day to study for my boards. I completed the internship in August 2017, which means I have barely two months to prepare fully for my USMLE (step 2 CK exams). To say I was scared to death is an understatement. I was practically living in fear that I will not do well in my exams and this will translate to me forfeiting 2017 medical residency application cycle. During all of this I started fasting and praying and holding on to the scriptures, Phil 4:13
“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me,”
and the song “I’m no longer slave to fear” by Bethel Music became my daily anthem.
I scheduled to take my step CK exams on the 22nd of September but had to postpone it thrice but eventually took it on the 29th of October 2017. This was way past the deadline for application (application started on September 13, 2017). My result was released on the eve of Thanksgiving (November 2017) and I was very devastated because I was praying for a score that will be higher than my 235 step 1 scores, but eventually, I had 223.
I started my medical residency application fully in the last week of November/December 2017. I never thought I had a chance for an interview because my application was extremely late. In fact, I applied to just about 30 hospitals/residency programs out of over 400 Internal Medicine programs in the US. I did not want to waste money and resources but little did I know that God was just helping me to save my money. Most programs had either filled up their interview slots with early applicants or some had even concluded interviewing when I applied.
Miraculously I was invited to four interviews in January. To God be the glory, I was selected and matched into a dream internal medicine residency program in Chicago, Illinois. Matching into the medical residency has really strengthened my faith in God that” he is too faithful to fail”. I resumed the residency training this week (July 2018) and I am so excited. I want to share my story with the world. I know it will strengthen someone’s faith in God.
Whatever it is that you are going through please don’t ever give up on God because he will never give up on you, trust him with your whole heart, serve him better, do your best at being the best version of you and leave the rest to HIM to perfect all that concerns you.