How many of you had a flu shot this year ? I asked the topic to my primary school Bricks 4 Kidz class, where I volunteer to teach fundamental scientific and mathematical ideas using Lego bricks. There was a voice asking, “What is a flu shot?” I continued, disturbed, by explaining why individuals receive the flu shot. I became a volunteer in hospitals, clinics, and community health centers because I was interested in medicine and wanted to help people. Through these experiences, I gained practical knowledge and decided to specialize in pediatric medicine.
I was motivated to seek a career in medicine by my mom’s Lupus diagnosis, the subsequent kidney transplant procedure, and the challenges that followed. I remember as a child I thought she was sick and I was scared and worried about her. I made the decision to pursue a career in the medical sciences as a result. I had the opportunity to observe the effects of acute and chronic renal illness on patients while participating in a high school Mentorship in Medicine summer program at a nearby hospital. I spent time in the operating room, the radiology department, the delivery room, and quietly saw a partial autopsy in pathology in addition to witnessing nephrologists in their clinical and hospital settings. It appears that many people were unaware of what was wrong with them. The doctors, in my opinion, were genuinely kind and knowledgeable.
My subsequent medical experiences during and after college helped to shape my desire to work in underserved regions. While coloring and reading with children in the waiting area of a Family Health Center, I had the opportunity to see firsthand how family medicine doctors serving low-income communities do their profession. On a medical and dental mission trip to the Philippines, I collaborated with local medical specialists to provide assistance and disperse medical supplies to neglected rural schools and communities. In an underdeveloped neighborhood, I was cradling a malnourished two-year-old boy with cerebral palsy and cardiorespiratory disease. His family could not afford to take him to the pediatrician because it was many hours away by car. I started crying as we were leaving the village because I was so overwhelmed emotionally. There were many people who were ill and in pain since there were no effective treatments accessible. However, this is not an unique instance; poor accessibility hurts a lot of people all around the world, even in my own neighborhood. The health of underserved areas may not be improved by a single doctor, but they can lessen needless suffering.
Dr. X, my previous supervisor and mentor, taught me that medicine is a combination of science and art. I learned about the relationship between doctors and patients while working as a medical assistant in a pediatrician’s office. I also learned how significant an influence medicine can have on people’s lives. I communicate with patients and their loved ones every day. A set of newborn twins was one of my first patients, and I can’t wait to follow up with them to see how they’re doing. A young boy who had undergone substantial cardiac surgery was another patient I developed a close relationship with; I frequently saw his cheerful face in the office as he made the transition from the hospital to his home. In addition, I helped many eager college juniors and seniors who were about to enroll in order to secure the required medical records for enrollment. The art of medicine is fundamentally about being able to relate to people and make a difference in their lives from childhood through old age.
The practice of medicine also includes patient-centered care, which includes attending to the concerns of the patient and listening to them. I was dismayed to learn that some parents were refusing the flu shot because they just didn’t get it while I checked patients’ vital signs. I conducted a quiet but insightful study using my training in the scientific approach. To find out the reasons why each family rejected the flu shot, surveys were conducted with more than 100 households. I conducted a patient survey to learn more about their knowledge of vaccinations and how they affect the immune system. I learned from this experience how important it is to pay attention to patients’ concerns and look for medical solutions. I came to see how crucial it is to communicate with people, even if it’s merely to explain why they require a vaccination. My goal in attending medical school is to become a physician who prioritizes the needs of their patients while simultaneously giving back to and learning from the neighborhood.
From the first time I encountered doctors as a child to the patients I see on a daily basis at my clinic, children have always played a significant role in my decision to pursue a career in medicine. Because of the satisfying experiences I’ve had with patients and the range of medical environments I’ve worked in, becoming a doctor is a hard and fulfilling ambition of mine. Whether it’s a novel vaccination or a strange ailment, doctors are always learning new things and sharing them with their patients and the general public. For this profession, preparation is equally crucial, thus I am looking forward to my time in medical school and beyond.