Today we’d like to introduce you to Ajay Nair Sharma.
Ajay, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I’m currently a medical student at the University of California, Irvine, studying to earn both my MD and MBA degrees. For the last three years, I’ve been roommates with one of my good friends, Daniel Azzam, and during this time we would regularly share stories of what happened to us while working in the hospital. Often, it was something hilarious. Occasionally, it was something tragic. And other times, it was simply something amazing. Our tales of humor, sorrow, joy, and inspiration became as much a staple of our clinical rotations as waking up early, seeing patients, and preparing for our exams.
When we began sharing our stories with classmates, we became so excited when our friends shared their stories in return. For all of us, this was therapeutic, a way to acknowledge that it was okay not to be perfect, and to recognize that we were not alone. It was here – understanding the importance of reflection – when we decided to create Diary of a Med Student.
We wanted to provide a platform, in the form of a book, for medical students from all over the country to express their emotions. Everyone has a story to share, and the process of reflecting, writing, and sharing a story is extremely cathartic. With mental health so essential in training the doctors of tomorrow, we hope this book sparks a movement in the way medical students feel about telling their stories, igniting a nationwide movement toward physician wellness.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
2020 has been a historic year for everyone involved, especially among healthcare providers and students. With COVID-19, a struggling economy, and social unrest permeating the nation, we think there is no time more important to give a voice to medical students than now.
All of these issues are healthcare issues, and they have been the focus of many stories submitted to Diary of a Med Student. We feel privileged to be able to read these heartfelt submissions from students, and it has truly revealed how much this year has affected our training. The struggles medical students have gone through, from losing a first patient to COVID-19 to feeling like you don’t belong in school, are presented in a raw and honest manner. We are in the unique position to provide these viewpoints in our platform, and given the critical stages we are in during today’s world, we wanted to highlight how the challenges of this year have uniquely affected us students.
So, as you know, we’re impressed with Diary of a Med Student – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of and what sets you apart from others.
Diary of a Med Student captures the voice of all students from this particular time in history. After receiving over 200 submissions from over 50 medical schools, this book truly represents the voices from students across nations. Not just from one year, but from all years. Not just from our school, but from all schools. It is a book created by medical students for medical students, doctors, pre-med students, and their loved ones to look backward, forward, and laterally on the wonderful world of medical school. This book offers a space to reflect on our emotions, process their meaning, and share them from the perspective of medical students writing in a diary.
Perhaps what we are most proud of is that 100% of all proceeds from the book will be donated to the DOAMS Scholarship Fund. The scholarship will be dedicated to incoming and current medical students, directly giving back to those in training.
So, what’s next? Any big plans?
We’ve been blown away by the tremendous support and momentum so far. We’ve sold over 1000 copies in our first month, we’re the #1 New Release in our category on Amazon, and we’ve received testimonials and praise from famous names in medicine like Dr. Abraham Verghese, SketchyMedical, Online MedEd, and Boards and Beyond. Moving forward, in addition to our Scholarship fund, we are working to transition our company to a 501(c)(3) nonprofit.
- $12.99 on Amazon (bit.ly/buydoams)
- 100% of all proceeds donated to the DOAMS Scholarship Fund for current and incoming medical students
- Website: diaryofamedstudent.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/d.o.a.m.s/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/diaryofamedstudent.book/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/d_o_a_m_s
- Other: https://www.linkedin.com/company/diary-of-a-med-student/