On May 31, 2019, in the halls of Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science, more than five hundred students earned their graduate degrees, becoming full-fledged practitioners of medicine and earning the right to place “Doctor” before their names.
Among them was MSJ alumna Eucabeth Mose, '10, whose diligence and hard work had enabled her to graduate at the top of her class and to be placed into one of the most competitive specialties in medicine at one of the greatest medical institutions in the nation.
In the coming weeks, Mose – or rather, Dr. Mose – would be starting her first day of residency in dermatology at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.
For most students, the journey through medical school is long and grueling. However, few journeys have been as long or as grueling as Mose’s. Even fewer had been undertaken with as much vivaciousness, passion, and perseverance.
She first dreamed of earning the title of “Doctor” when she was a young girl in Kenya. As a foster kid, she lived with the Catholic Church, raised by priests and nuns who always believed in her. She chose to pursue medicine because “as a doctor, I am in a position to influence, impact, and empower people,” she says. “Even when I was little, I wanted to make a difference.”
In 2006, because of her excellent grades, Mose was afforded the opportunity to travel to the United States to pursue higher education through the Zawadi African Education Fund. She applied to two colleges in America. The first college wouldn’t admit her because she didn’t have SAT scores. Living in Kenya, she couldn’t afford to take the test.
The second college, in spite of this, sent her an acceptance letter. Thus, in the fall of 2006, the College of Mount St. Joseph welcomed a new crop of freshmen that would become the Class of 2010. Among them was eighteen-year-old Mose, majoring in biochemistry.
“In the United States, you can be whatever you want. Mount St. Joseph gave me a family, and let me spread my wings and fly high,” she says.
Even after she graduated in 2010, she says she still felt supported by the people at the Mount. She received assistance with interviews and recommendation letters. Dr. Diana Davis (Mose's academic advisor at the time) helped her set up a GoFundMe page to raise money for her medical school expenses. However, admittance to medical school always seemed just out of her reach.
“I applied to medical school five times, I took the MCAT [Medical College Admissions Test] four times.” Nevertheless, she persisted. On her fifth try, Mose was admitted to the Chicago Medical School at Rosalind Franklin University for the fall of 2015.
“I would not be here if Mount St. Joseph hadn’t given me a chance,” says Mose. “They took a chance on a girl from Kenya and transformed my life and the life of my family.”
It took a journey of almost thirteen years from the time Mose first came to America to finally earning her degree to practice medicine. However, as she walks across the stage at Rosalind Franklin, she hopes that her story of grit and perseverance will inspire others, especially students who may be struggling with school.
“Many people love diamonds. They think they are beautiful and are drawn to them. But all diamonds are made of is simply carbon. That carbon is heated and compressed until they are able to shine. Diamonds go through so much pressure in order to shine so bright. If you are like a diamond, going through pressure in order to shine, people will be drawn to you as well.”