Cria-May Garcia Matanguihan
Fall 2015
Photography & Videography
Photo/Video Team Leader

Member since: Fall 2015

The path to becoming a physician began when I was young, and further events in my life propelled me onward toward this goal. Two years after moving to the United States from Dubai, my father was diagnosed with tuberculosis of the bone. I was fourteen years old and felt vulnerable because I could not help my father who had suffered months of pain before a correct diagnosis was given. I am overprotective of my loved ones, so I struggled to leave my father’s well-being to his physicians. Nonetheless, I was impressed at how skillful and knowledgeable his physicians were, and over time, I learned to trust them. I gained interest in and respect for the medical profession. I realized that if a similar situation were to happen to any of my loved ones again, I would want to know more regarding treatments and diagnoses. My desire to free others, and myself, from helplessness made me want to study medicine.

Furthermore, destiny made sure that my personal experience as a patient solidified my decision to become a physician. A week before my junior year of college, a regular check-up for seizures with my neurologist showed that I needed brain surgery at University of California San Francisco hospital. Everything happened so fast; it is still blurry to me. Even though my neurosurgeon was confident and assured me I would eventually learn to live a normal life, I remember struggling to accept what was happening and the consequences of the surgery. For over a year, I had trouble walking on my own and accomplishing daily tasks. When I returned to school, I struggled with my studies because it took twice as long to retain information. With the help of my family and physicians, I discovered I was capable of doing more than I thought. Along with my experience, the responsibilities and complications my doctors faced while caring for me have strengthened my interest in medicine. Without a doubt, this is the profession for me.

Overall, I am thankful for my struggles because without them, I would have not discovered my strengths. I believe that with the support of S.C.O.P.E., I will continue to grow as a focused and resilient individual. In return, I plan to contribute my professional, academic, and volunteer accomplishments to help S.C.O.P.E grow, while furthering my goal to become a physician.