Tiffany Long (1st Quarter, 2009)

by Josh Barsch on August 20, 2010

1st Quarter, 2009
Science Scholarship Winner
Tiffany Long

I’m a sophomore at the University of Florida who’s majoring in Health Science and minoring in Spanish. Soon, I will be working as  lab assistant within the College of Medicine’s Oncology Department. My sole desire in life is to cultivate the incredible passion I have for medicine so that it will blossom into an opportunity to serve the individuals of this world by providing the best medical care possible.

I’ve wanted to become a doctor since the age of 5, but specifically, it was witnessing a traumasurgery one night after my working shift as a transporter in the OR that I knew I wanted to become a surgeon. Until then, I will continue to work diligently and participate in service, softball,and most importantly, taking my faith in God to missions
domestically and abroad.

A Portion of Tiffany’s Winning Essay:

Tiffany Long

Greetings! My name is Tiffany Long, and I’m a freshman at the University of Florida who is actively pursuing a Bachelors Degree in Pre-professional Health Science. There’s not a day that passes that my ultimate goal, to become a surgeon, isn’t at the forefront of my mind.

Becoming a doctor has been my fervent dream since the age of five! Yes, there are many ways to help people in life, but my passion for the human body and it’s intricacies, on top of my desire to help rectify the physical ailments of those who need it, steered me in the medical direction when I was very young; I believe my grandmother’s disabilities have had a profound influence on me as well because living with her for the past seven years of my life has been a privilege in that I’ve been able to assist her so much.

I would have to say my interest first sparked, though, after I began looking at a medical book my grandmother had purchased at a yard sale, and as the years went by, I fell in love with any medical show I could watch on the Discovery Health channel. Of the multiple forces shaping my desire to become a doctor, it was once I realized how very dire the world’s need for compassionate doctors really is that my desire soared through the roof. When people turned away because of their lack of insurance or money, it upsets me incredible. The elderly and poor are generally walked upon or not given the genuine attention they deserve, and it is my desire to be a doctor that truly cares for the people, not how much money I can make or my societal status.

Right before I came to the University of Florida in June 2008, I worked as a Post Anesthesia Care Unit and Operating Room transporter at Lee Memorial Hospital for a year. It truly had a profound effect on me. What I learned and experienced there will stay with me forever, especially the numerous surgeries I observed in my free time. One particular night changed me forever. As I was busy wrapping up my normal routine, the emergency beeper yelled in distress; a man had accidentally severed his fingers trying to fix his lawnmower. Moments later, Dr. Bryan, the anesthesiologist on call, asked me if I’d like to accompany him down to the ER while he examined the damage. Of course I said yes!


Upon arrival, I was in awe of the gangly, grisly nubs that were the remnants of this poor man’s accident. I turned away after a moment so as to not offend the unfortunate soul, but immediately wanted to see more, and then it happened. Dr. Bryan invited me to witness the patient’s surgery! The procedure was trauma and BAM, in-your-face work that would require tedious repairing. I was sold. I was euphoric. I had to watch that surgery despite invitations to hang out that night and escalating tiredness.

The only negative aspect of that experience was that the man couldn’t have his fingers sewn back on because he couldn’t afford it. If I had been the surgeon, I know without a doubt I would have done it money or not; the challenge, on top of having a large impact on someone’s quality of life, would have been more valuable to me. That one experience reinforced and intensified my lifelong aspiration to become a doctor, and more specifically, it is what convinced me to want to become a surgeon; neuro, general, or trauma has been my interest for quite some time.

At this stage in life, many people usually do not know exactly what they want to pursue for a career. As you can see, this has not been the case for me. I truly believe being a doctor is God’s calling for my life. There is nothing else in this world that brings me more joy than being in the hospital atmosphere and knowing I’m making a difference in the lives of patients.

I may not be working in a hospital at the moment or attending medical school just yet, but I still make an effort to immerse my self in anything medically related. I make an effort to attend medical student meetings even though I cannot be a member, read medical articles daily, and color in my Anatomy and Physiology coloring book, as it is one of my favorite hobbies to exercise. Now, I must admit that at the moment, my college GPA is by no means satisfactory to my personal standards. Let me assure you, however, that within the next few years, it will increase significantly.

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