*a sensitive subject I don't want anyone i know to read about- please give feedback, as this is a first draft!*
Being a victim of domestic violence
Domestic violence is a growing and serious issue in our society today. Although there are various resources to help victims, it is seemingly impossible to leave a difficult situation behind. I never understood this phenomenon, until I became a victim myself. To me, it always seemed like a no-brainer to leave a bad situation and to make well-being a priority. Why stay in a miserable situation, that likely will only get worse and could potentially be fatal?
When I first met my ex, I was almost finished with my pre-requisites for medical school and a few short weeks away from taking the MCAT. I had every detail of my future planned out, and nothing was going to stop me from achieving my dream- or at least that is what I thought. Falling in love with a military man changed my life in so many ways. I was able to see different forms of medicine by living abroad, and the treatment of others in comparison to what I have always known. After I became a mother, I learned as much as I could about pediatrics and obstetrics to deepen my knowledge of other specialties. Although I wasn't able to work or volunteer due to the language barrier, I found ways to continue my education abroad and strengthen my desire to continue pursuing medicine. In the final stages of my marriage, I became the victim of a very abusive relationship. I lost confidence in my ability to continue down this path, but then I realized how this experience could be used to make me a better physician.
After a physical altercation where he threw me to the ground, and I landed on my stomach while pregnant, I called the police for the first time. This difficult step gave me the much needed space I needed to plan my escape and keep our children safe while he spent a few nights in jail. He had always threatened to have my son taken away, and the fear of losing him was enough to keep me from fighting back. I had finally realized the damage of staying outweighed the benefit, and after 3 years of enduring this abuse I finally had the strength I needed to walk away.
I was a part time employee, which had allowed me to accomplish most of the shadowing I needed to apply to medical school. I finished my pre requisites and began working full time while I planned out my future again. I needed to get back on track and focus on myself, my child, and preparing for medical school as a single parent. I was still so scared of what angering him provoked because I know he blamed me, like he always did, for what happened. I was scared I wouldn't be able to survive on my own, or take care of two kids alone. I spent months in therapy and working on things that made me happy. Through hard work and a lot of time, I managed to find strength within myself, and for my kids, to push through and achieve what I have always wanted. I have an entirely different view of medicine now, and a different reason for pursuing this dream than I'd had 6 years ago when I embarked on this journey.
I want to be a doctor because I know I can help even the most difficult patients. Having been a patient myself, I have the well-rounded view of medicine from more than just a diagnostic perspective. I enjoy being a leader, and teaching others through my experiences and knowledge. I initially wanted to go into medicine because of the ability to be in a leadership role, and to explore new treatments for conditions. I have since broadened my desire to work with special cases and victims where I can use my experience to help others through tough times. I would like to use my leadership skills, passion, and knowledge to assist patients along a difficult journey. I am intrigued by everything in medicine, and I enjoy the challenge of bettering myself every day. I know I may not be the best student, but I have the drive and heart of a lioness. I have what it takes to be a great colleague, and an even better physician. I have overcome a huge obstacle that thankfully many people will never endure, and still managed to find a way to pursue my dream despite the outcome. I have come out on the other side a stronger individual, a better mother, and a better advocate for my future patients because of my hardships. Aside from my background in communication, I think this situation has given me insight into the proper compassion and empathy needed to become an outstanding doctor and patient advocate. I want my patients to feel comfortable opening up to me, because I know how difficult it can be to tell your story. It can feel shameful, embarrassing and often times it can feel like you're being judged. With all that patients have to deal with, these shouldn't be added to the list. Medicine doesn't only require a vast knowledge of ailments and treatments, but also a great amount of empathy, compassion, and respect for all people; which isn't an innate trait for a lot of people. Growing up in a family that traveled and lived all over the world gave me these skills and tremendous insight into the disparities in medicine, especially in under-served areas. I was able to see the variations in medicine based off of culture, class and even ethnicity. These experiences, along with my hardships and life lessons, have given me all of the tools to be successful that can't be taught in a classroom or through reading a textbook.