I’m wrapping up my first year of medical school and while it’s been pretty hard, it’s all going to be worth it when I can return to the Navajo Nation, and serve the community where I grew up. I want to work for Indian Health Services, which is the health care that I grew up with and that I still utilize today. I hope to specialize in family medicine. I earned my undergraduate degree in science at Arizona State University (ASU) in Phoenix. That was a great experience and really helped to prepare me in so many ways for the challenges of medical school. The advisers from
College Success Arizona, which provided me with a scholarship, were also super helpful in getting me through ASU. When I look back at my childhood and educational experiences, I think about the people and programs that really helped me understand that I wanted to be a doctor and helped me prepare for college. I went to school for the early grades on the Navajo reservation and then my family relocated to the city of Flagstaff, which gave me access to further my education. There were a lot more programs and academic support, which allowed me to enroll in a dual-enrollment plan between Flagstaff High School and Coconino Community College. Through the medical assisting program, I was able to experience what it would be like to work in a clinical setting. I was able to interact with patients, monitor their vital signs and see how the clinic operates. All of that really opened the doors for me to pursue medicine. Just getting involved in these kinds of programs can really help students find their interest early. I know that if I wouldn’t have done those programs and found medicine early on, I probably wouldn’t have been as prepared for college as I was.
Trey Begaye is 23 years old and attends medical school at the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks.