1. Let's start with the basics. Tell us your name and where you're from? Where do you currently live? Tell us the top three best things about it! Lastly, if you could live anywhere, where would it be and why?
My name is Leyanet, but I go by “Ley.” I was born in Cuba, and I currently live in Miami. Miami has a little bit of everything and caters to many different types of people. For example, I love art and poetry, so Wynwood is one of my favorite places to go! It’s a beautiful city, and I love to see the skyline. Additionally, I live relatively close to the Florida Keys, so the beach is always near, too. Although I enjoy living in Miami because my family is here, I was raised in Georgia, where you get all four seasons… so I definitely wouldn’t mind moving somewhere where it’s not sunshine all year round.
2. Describe your all-time favorite cheat meal? What is the best Cuban food that you think everyone should try? How do you make eating healthy foods enjoyable so that you don’t feel like you want to eat unhealthy foods every day?
Anybody that knows me, knows I LOVEEEE to eat. Pizza is my weakness. Everyone needs to come over and try my mom’s Cuban steak. Literally, it’s the best thing in the world. Besides that, congris, yucca, and fritas de malanga are my favorite.
I have to pre-plan my meals. If I don’t plan out what I’m going to eat, you’ll see me in a drive thru somewhere lol! I switch it up a lot… eggs, tilapia, chicken breast, ground beef, turkey, etc… and then I have some sort of veggies. For carbs, I alternate between sweet potatoes, jasmine rice, and I eat oatmeal (or, recently, cereal) in the morning. One thing’s for sure though: if I have a craving, I let myself have whatever I’m craving (in moderation, of course). From personal experience, I’ve realized that if I fight my craving, i’ll end up eventually binge eating and completely falling off the wagon.
3. If you had to describe yourself in three words, what would they be and why? Do you believe that you portray these things to people around you and to the people on social media?
Passionate, diligent, good sense of humor.
I sure hope so haha. I’ve always been someone who puts their heart into whatever it is i’m doing. If i’m not all in, i’m out. I actually put “smart” and then changed that to diligent because I know I work hard. I’m not someone who’s naturally gifted with all of the smart genes. Sure, it helps, but I’ve worked hard to get where I am and I’ll forever be proud of that. Good sense of humor… have you guys not read my captions? I love pick up lines and science jokes. I love making people laugh… just ask my BFF/roommate who would pee her pants because I am hilarious and no one can tell me otherwise (I’m laughing as I type this).
4. You’re a med student! How do you find time for studying and still maintain a gym and social life? What has been the hardest part of Med School so far? What is your end goal once you finish?
IT IS SO HARD. At the beginning of school, I really struggled to find that balance. I completely stopped going to the gym at one point because I just couldn’t do it. Now, me and my agenda are BFFs. I block out time for EVERYTHING. Including my social life. I’m a strong advocate for finding that work-life balance. You can’t work 100% of the time… you’re going to burn out (I’ve been there!). The hardest part of med school is definitely the amount of material we’re expected to learn. For me, I had to figure out how to study every class… my methods changed every semester. Now, I’m definitely much more confident in my studying habits and balancing.
You know, my end goal has shifted quite a few times. Before med school, I wanted to be a pediatric radiologist. Now, I really enjoy emergency medicine (with a possible specialization in peds). As I’ve continued to study, however, I’ve grown an interest in gastroenterology and preventative medicine. So, really, I’m just going where the wind takes me. When I start clinical rotations, I think i’ll have a much better idea of what my specific calling is. I’m keeping an open mind until then!
5. What keeps you positive and on fire for life? What brings you the most passion? If you had to choose one thing to focus on for the rest of your life, what would it be?
This is a tough one—but, without a doubt, my parents. I’m a cuban immigrant. My family left Cuba on a small boat as refugees in 1994. To this day, my dad reminds me why him and my mother left: to give my brothers and I a chance at a better future and a better life. If my parents putting their life at risk isn’t a reason to be positive and to chase my dreams, I don’t know what is. I love them and I’ll forever hold them accountable for all of my successes.
I’ve been passionate about medicine my whole life. I’ve always wanted to help people, and medicine has been my method. This ties in to everything I love: fitness, wellbeing, mental health, nutrition, etc. My family tells me I was born with a stethoscope around my neck… I don’t need picture evidence. I believe them.