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Khadijah Jihad (DO ’20) 
Match Day 2020

March 30, 2020

In the midst of a global pandemic, students from the class of 2020 at PCOM Georgia celebrated one of the most exciting days in their professional journey—match day. Here they share their personal match story, what has inspired them along the way and what advice they would give to students starting the journey today.

Khadijah Jihad (DO ’20)What inspired you to go into medicine?

What inspired me is very personal. My grandfather (may his soul rest in peace) went blind in both eyes from glaucoma due to inadequate healthcare and access to resources back home in Sierra Leone. Seeing how I could combine my passion for healing others with my passion for mentoring, teaching and serving underserved communities is what makes this the perfect profession for me!

Where did you match?

WellStar Kennestone in Marietta, Georgia.

What specialty have you chosen to pursue and why?

Emergency Medicine. I chose emergency medicine because we are at the frontline of patient care. There are numerous cultural, religious and social factors that directly impact patients’ health and medical decisions. As emergency medicine physicians are often the first person to interact with the patient, it is important to be able to quickly establish a connection and trust between oneself and the patient. Patients come to the emergency department during their most vulnerable points in their lives and are entrusting us with their most sacred moments and I wanted to be a part of that.

How did you feel when you found out you matched?

Happy. Excited. Speechless. Blessed. The moment felt so surreal. All of the hard work, long days of studying, questioning whether I was supposed to be in medical school, missed moments and delayed gratification all culminated in that one email.

What advice would you give to year one medical students just starting their journey?

Don't give up. Don't let anyone tell you don't belong. You were meant to be here and you will make it. There is a light at the end of the tunnel.

Is there anything else you would like to share?

Being the first on both sides of my family to become a physician feels like a dream come true. Joining the 2 percent of black female physicians feels surreal. I've prayed for this day in and day out and to see my hard work come to full fruition was truly amazing.

Read more Match Day stories from the Class of 2020.