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The odds were stacked against Antonio Webb, beginning with his childhood in Shreveport, Louisiana. Friends and family members were serving jail time, or addicted to drugs. Some close friends were even killed amidst the challenges of the neighborhood.
With these influences in his life, it seemed he was destined to turn out the same way. But fate had something else in mind for young Webb. While in high school, he developed an interest in biology and medicine and his grades earned him a spot in a local medical magnet program for disadvantaged students. Inspired by this experience, he began to dream of a career as a doctor, even though no one in his family had completed college, let alone medical school.
Webb realized his best chance for financial help with higher education would come if he served in the military. After 17-year-old Webb graduated high school in the top 5% of his class, his father consented to let him join the U.S. Air Force, in 2001.
While on his 8-year active duty commitment in the Air Force, Webb worked as a medic and simultaneously attended undergrad at the University of Texas at San Antonio, taking classes whenever and wherever he could to compete his degree. 6 1/2 years after first beginning, Webb became the first person in his family to hold a college degree.
He was later deployed north of Baghdad, Iraq, where he served as a combat medic; on a base dubbed “Mortarville” for the frequency of mortar attacks it endured. He treated just over 800 patients during his deployment and earned several medals in the process including an Air Force Achievement medal, Meritorious Unit Award, Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with a bronze oak leaf cluster, National Defense Service medal, Iraq Campaign Ribbon, Global War on Terrorism Service medal and an Air Force Expeditionary Service Ribbon.
When he left the military in 2009, it was time to pursue his medical training full time, beginning with the Georgetown Experimental Medical Studies Program, which worked to prepare students from disadvantaged backgrounds for success in medical school and beyond. From there, he was accepted into the renowned Georgetown University School of Medicine, and he says he considers the day he was accepted the most unforgettable moment of his life thus far.
His studies covered medicine as well as medical research and he earned honors in the fields of Renal, Pediatrics, Internal Medicine, Surgery, Psychiatry and Critical Care ICU, leading to his Doctorate of Medicine degree in 2014.
Today, Dr. Antonio Webb is completing his residency at the University of Texas, San Antonio, specializing in Orthopedic Surgery. But that isn’t enough for the tireless and disciplined doctor. He’s putting the finishing touches on his first book, his life story, aptly titled Overcoming the Odds, and is frequently sought after for inspirational speaking engagements.
One of his most rewarding activities, however, is serving as a mentor for underprivileged middle and high school students interested in a career in medicine. He volunteers to help because he says it is important for students to know “If I can do it, they can, too.” Webb says his proudest moment would be when he encounters a student in later years who says, “I am in medical school because of you.”
It’s been a long road from impoverished child in a dangerous environment to decorated soldier and award-winning medic, and Antonio Webb, MD is aware of the amazing journey that has been his life. “I don’t take anything for granted,” he says. “I know I am incredibly blessed.”
on Dec. 26, 2014 :
This book, in my opinion, is an good read if you want to read about someone's path to medical school and what it takes to get there and excel. Although he was not a "traditional" medical student, this book does not matter if you go straight from undergrad to med school or you chose a different route, you can do anything as long as you set your mind to it. This book was very informative and I will take and apply some of his techniques and hope whoever reads this will take something from the book.
(reviewed 2 days after purchase)