#MedCanes Chronicles: Navigating Failure, a Perspective from a Dancer and Perfectionist

“#MedCanes Chronicles” offers first-person perspectives into the lives of medical students on their journey to becoming health care leaders. The series delves into the personal narratives of these aspiring doctors and scientists, shedding light on their struggles, triumphs and the resilience that propels them forward.

Amanda Kaine, Master’s Degree in Biomedical Sciences, Class of 2024, and #MedCanes Ambassador

Miller School of Medicine medical school applicant Amanda Kaine

All my life, I’ve idolized the ideology of perfectionism equivalating to success. I am a dancer, after all (16 years going strong!).

It was engraved within me since I was a toddler to be perfect and never mess up. Perfect feet, perfect turns, perfect kicks…everything had to be perfect. It is a part of the dance culture.

Yet, I never understood what it meant to TRULY fail within life until I embarked on one of the hardest endeavors—becoming a physician. In the realm of academia, the stakes were higher and the definition of success expanded far beyond flawless performances on stage. The path to medical school demanded courage and persistence, one I was ready to face.

Recently, as a current medical school applicant, I have truly understood what it means to pick yourself up after failing time and time again. I’ve been denied grants, rejected for publications and even failed at personal endeavors along the way, and I used to let all of this define me.

Until I didn’t. I have let these struggles be my belt of strength rather than my chains of limitations. My hardships have forged a stronger motivation for my goals and have instilled persistence within me to never give up, no matter what magnitude of effort it may take to overcome the obstacle. This changed my perspective, big-time. 

From all the setbacks I have had, the largest consequence that blossomed was my ability to fight back and fight even harder than before. I have grown from the challenges I have faced. I have embraced and embodied the principles of persisting against all odds and doing whatever it takes to get to my goals. 

Lastly, I need to thank the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine for my growth. Without the U, I wouldn’t be the person I am today. The U has unlocked my greatest potential, driven me closer to my goals of becoming a physician and given me the resources to thrive under pressure.

I have been guided during this gap year to keep going, despite setbacks. I am so excited to become a physician and can’t wait to heal every life I encounter.  My biggest advice for pre-medical students is the following: Never give up. It doesn’t get easier, but you become stronger along the way.

Keep going, future colleagues. I can’t wait to work with you one day.

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Tags: MedCanes Chronicles, medical students, Miller School of Medicine