It was Shamone Gore Panter’s wish to go to medical school in 2007 but the fact that she had to take the Medical College Admission Test or MCAT filled her with fear. So she chose a different career path, becoming a research scholar at Cleveland Clinic after pursuing a doctorate and researching cardiovascular genetics at the clinic.
But after a conversation with her pregnant niece about COVID-19 vaccine myths recently, Gore Panter realized that her fellow Blacks may be having some health questions that need answers and may be more open to sharing their concerns with health personnel who look like them.
So years after shunning medical school, she felt it was time to pursue it. “I thought, ‘This is what I need to be doing every day. I want to go to medical school. I didn’t know where I wanted to go. I just knew I wanted to do it,” the 43-year-old mom of four from Cleveland told Today.
“I might not be able to solve all the problems, (but) sometimes seeing someone who looks like you gives you at least a foot in the door to maybe try to talk to people and give them information to potentially take better care of their health,” she said.
Gore Panter practiced for the MCAT and scored higher marks, enabling her to take the real MCAT and get accepted into a program that’s a partnership between Ohio University and the Cleveland Clinic, Today reported.
Per the program, students interested in family practice can obtain their medical school degree in three years. Gore Panter should graduate in 2025 and become a family doctor.
Combining family life and medical school has been tough but her husband has been really supportive, she said. What’s more, her desire to impact lives as a family physician keeps her going. She advises all to follow their dreams and never think it’s too late to do so.
“It doesn’t matter how old you are. If you’re still alive, you can go try and do it. That could be a major regret if you don’t even try,” she said.