By Laura Duncanson
Rasheedah Andrews is like your typical 22-year-old; she enjoys shopping, hanging out with her girlfriends and eating Thai food. But unlike others her age, she’s also the face you might see if you bring your child to the emergency room. She is 22 years old and in her first year of her Pediatric Residency at Elmhurst Hospital Center – Mount Sinai in New York, making her the youngest in her department.
Hailing from the small island of Grenada, Rasheedah decided from a young age that she wanted to do medicine. Her interest in Pediatrics and medicine on a whole stemmed from her aunt, who is a local Pediatrician as well as one of her younger cousins who has Down syndrome. These factors along with a thirst for knowledge propelled her academically and emotionally. Education wise, she found herself graduating high school at 15, getting her bachelors and entering medical school at St. Georges University School of Medicine from the young tender age of 18. Despite her young age, she doesn’t allow that to hinder her desire to help; from volunteering at local children’s home and elderly homes, she’s always trying to give back to her community. Currently she has an initiative in place which is targeted towards Diabetes and Hypertension in the community that she hopes would improve the level of healthcare offered towards this populace in Grenada. Making pediatrics her career choice, she hopes to become one of the few licensed Pediatricians in her home country.
Medical school wasn’t easy at such a young age. The Good News Notebook Magazine (GNN) asked what the main obstacle was she has had to face, “self-doubt” and credits her survival emotionally to a close relationship with God, great group of friends, her mother and her aunt. She has had nervous breakdowns like everyone else but despite that, she still managed to graduate with honors, regular inductee of the Dean’s list and Chancellor list. She gives acknowledgment to her family for allowing her to follow her dreams and not holding her back in school. She is currently a member of a few organizations such as AAP, IFMSA and a recipient of Grenada National Scholarship which funded her education.
The two people she told GNN she would have loved to have met was Nelson Mandela and Maya Angelo because they touched people with their words and actions. As far as her future is concerned, she would like to return to Grenada and improve the quality of healthcare in the realm of pediatrics by making it affordable to those who can’t afford. Her biggest role models are her mom and her aunt.
Her words for The Good News Notebook Magazine readers are,” not to give up”, “put in the work and keep focus”. “Although you’ll be faced with a lot of obstacles and negativity, don’t listen too much to what people have to say and just believe in yourself”.
It’s safe to say, her story is an example of hard work, determination and amazing support system.