Look closely and you’ll see a doctor listening to the auscultating heart sounds of his patient. Look closer and you’ll see a pear shaped muscular organ the size of a fist, pulsating like the flutter of a hummingbird. Look even closer and you may see the four chambers, with blood rushing through, facilitated by the opening and closing of valves. However, look past all of that, and you see repositories of information accessible by only the experts, sanctioned by rapid technological transformations, from the stethoscope to MRI machines, enabling the human relationship between patients and professionals. Look the furthest you can and you’ll see the fascinating world that is medicine.The Biomedical Excellence and Academic Training Academy at the Health Science Center in San Antonio was the perfect opportunity for me to expand my horizons on my passion to go into the health professions. While there, we had the unique opportunity to be a part of a gross anatomy experience. My supervisor, Dr. Bolleter, uncovered the body and explained to that her name was Irna, and she had donated her entire body to the Willed Body Program. He explained that we were going to examine all the arteries and veins, muscles, and body organs. It was to be a truly hands on experience. Never before did I imagine that I would get to hold a real heart in my hands. That I would get to feel the rings on the inside of a real trachea. That I would get to see a real lung inflating using simulated air movements. It was one of the most incredible moments I had ever been a part of. The experience was eye opening and inspirational.
Afterwards, our preceptor explained to us that now, we “owe Irna”. That she had given her life for me to have this unique opportunity, and it was my duty to take the knowledge she had imparted on me and use it to make a difference in the lives of others. His inspirational words gave me newfound enthusiasm for pursuing a career in medicine.
My decision to pursue in a career in medicine was not instant, but rather a culmination of my experiences in the hospital as a volunteer and intern. Ultimately, I came to understand the human aspect of healthcare, which was the impetus for my decision to seek a career in medicine. Indeed, my time as a shadow taught me the intricacies of personal patient care, such as taking vital signs and establishing the special connection with the patient, while my opportunities as an intern at Methodist Richardson Medical Center have provided me fresh perspectives on ER Trauma situations and emergency medicine protocol. I’ve come to understand how powerful words are, and how they can comfort, inspire, sympathize, and even teach. The dichotomous nature of medicine- between maintaining hope and giving up- is what draws me towards medicine. I love the transient nature of the industry; the mere fact that every day, new technology is introduced that revolutionizes the way we can make an assessment on an individual’s health and yet, with all this technology¸ uncertainty continues to lurk around the corner. Surgeries using state of art methods fail, and people charted to pass away in a few months live for much longer. What drives my passion for healthcare is the notion that despite knowing that all this – all this technology, this science, this development – is for a fight in a battle that we cannot entirely control, we still choose to fight that battle anyway, all for the beautiful moments of victory. Physicians are continually reminded of their inherent fallibility- yet, when a patient dies, it’s not “failure.” Disease should not be seen as a failure of the body, but rather a rallying cry to innovate and cure. The humanization of patients- this very idea of dedication to the use of medical knowledge to make a difference in someone’s life- is why I choose to pursue a career in passion.
Ultimately, it’s in the personal moments- the moments of holding a real part of the brain in my hands, or watching a patient’s real tumor shrink on the MRI over the summer- that I realize the power we can wield in changing someone’s life. That is what I seek in becoming a doctor. That is why I believe I can make a difference in the field. That is why when I look closely, I see myself listening to the auscultating heart sounds of my very own patient.