Maura Jones is a fourth year medical student at LSU New Orleans. She decided to start this blog to share her experiences as a medical students and inspire others who are interested in the medical field. Her blog provides a unique perspective on the complexities of being a female minority in medicine.
Tell us more about yourself and where you are attending Medical School.
I am originally from Monroe, LA, and the oldest of 3. I attended Xavier University of Louisiana for undergrad, and I am currently in my final year of medical school at LSU in New Orleans. In my free time I enjoy spending time with loved ones, playing with my puppy Bella, cooking, traveling, and writing.
Did you always want to be a doctor? Who and what inspired you?
Yes, except for the one time when I was 3. I said I wanted to work at Burger King when I grew up! My mother really inspired me. She is a nurse, and watching her love for her work and patients really sparked my interest in medicine.
How was your transition from college to medical school? Would you say your college prepared you for the rigors of medical school?
I felt like my transition was as seamless as could be expected. Xavier did an excellent job preparing me for the rigors of medical school. I stayed in New Orleans for medical school which was comforting because I already knew the city and had a strong network of support. The biggest adjustment was studying for countless hours and being more regimented with myself. However, once I got through my first few exam blocks, I figured out what was necessary in terms of studying and time to achieve the best results. I also learned how to achieve balance, which I believe is most important for success. If you dedicate every moment of your life to studying, you will go insane.
You recently started a blog about medicine. What is the purpose behind the blog? What are your next steps for the blog?
I recently started a blog called “Mocha in Medicine” that I am very excited about. My purpose for starting the blog was to give other students of color who are interested in medicine someone to identify with and a source of mentorship. It can be extremely challenging to find role models who look like us in medicine, and I really want to help fill that void. I understand how difficult it can be to find a mentor. My next steps for the blog are to produce video content, and do some collaborative projects with others people of color in medicine
What advice would you give someone interested in medical school?
My advice would be to stay the course, and remove the word “can’t” from your vocabulary. The path to medicine is a long challenging one and it is definitely not for the faint of heart. A lot of people fall off or look for ways to take short cuts, because either they believe they can’t do it, or because they think it’s too long or too hard. Stay the course. Tune out the naysayers. Believe in yourself. Know that with hard work and dedication you can do WHATEVER you set your mind to.
My second piece of advice would be to seek out a mentor early. There will be a lot of people trying to discourage you. It’s helpful to have someone in your corner, who has been there and can offer guidance and perspective.
You can follow Maura’s journey here.