The (To) Ambassador Spotlight is a new, monthly look into the lives of our #WhereMatters Ambassadors. Not only do we discuss who they are and what motivates them, but take a deep dive into how location is influencing their role as a rising physician. Our first spotlight is on Josh Scarcella, a pre-med major at the University of North Carolina - Wilmington. In his interview, Josh reveals his family's story of immigration to the United States and how he intends to carry their hard work and dedication to seeking a purpose-filled life into practice. Enjoy (we certainly did)!
JOSH SCARCELLA, PRE-MED STUDENT, UNC-WILMINGTON
Sarah: Where are you from? Where have you lived? Which people or places have most influenced you most?
Josh: My family moved to North Carolina from Syracuse, New York, in the early 1990s. I was raised in Mooresville, North Carolina (just outside of Charlotte). My paternal grandparents emigrated from Calabria, Italy, with elementary school educations. They did not have the opportunity to attend medical school or even to learn to speak English in a formal setting, but their hard work and discipline catalyzed my family’s successful lineage in this country. I have a postage stamp tattoo on my ankle that says "Calabria." It's a constant reminder that my grandparents' determination to seek a better life provided me with the foundation to become a physician.
Sarah: Why are you interested in a career in medicine?
Josh: Helping to educate and heal every day excites me beyond belief. I hope to have that opportunity.
Sarah: Have you thought about where you would like to practice and whom you would like to serve?
Josh: I would like to practice in a setting that allows me to treat patients with a wide range of backgrounds. A large city would be ideal.
Sarah: Does your school have a formal pre-med program or instead provide a pre-med track? In either case, do you feel prepared to apply for med school?
Josh: UNC-W offers a nonspecific Pre-Health major. The university has a fantastic advisory staff that works unrelentingly to prepare students to apply to medical schools. I feel prepared and know that the help I will need along the way is available.
Sarah: When you think about (To) and its goal to help "connect the dots" through geography, how you think it benefits you now and will in the future? Why did you decide to become a (To) Ambassador?
Josh: Using (To) to anticipate and plan for my future in medicine is confidence inspiring. I met Sarah Linden at the American Medical Student Association convention in Washington, D.C., and was blown away by the passion behind the application’s development. I knew immediately that I wanted to be involved, not only because I am a direct beneficiary of the application, but also because I felt that I could contribute to the continual development of this phenomenal creation.
Sarah: What is your favorite place and why?
Josh: My favorite place in the world is New York City. Its amalgamation of culture, history and life is an irresistible draw for me.
Sarah: What is your favorite part about the (To) app?
Josh: My favorite part of (To) is its dedication to helping perspective medical students optimize personal life experiences with location and yield tangible results. An application designed in this way is a rare commodity for pre-medical and medical students which is why our community should take full advantage of current and future offerings.