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Posts by johnb
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johnb   
Feb 10, 2011
Graduate / Exposure to Medicine + Career in Medicine (reasons) -- Med School Essay [2]

12. Describe Your Exposure to Medicine

Because both of my parents are practicing dentists, I have received an almost constant exposure to medicine for my entire life. Of course, as a child I found the dinner time "dental" conversations to be foreign and a little annoying. This view began to change while I was in middle school. My sister and I would occasionally assist my mother's office staff in turning over rooms and sterilizing instruments. Though the cleaning tasks were rote, I found my very limited patient interaction exciting.

In high school, I realized I wanted to pursue a career in the medical field. Around the time of realization, my mother's office changed practice management software and, almost by accident, I became the office "point man" for the conversion and staff education for the new system. My new role in the office came with constant patient interaction, both on the phone and in person. I enjoyed these smilingly "routine" interactions because it was fascinating to me to watch patients come into the office in visible agony and leave in a state of complete relief.

My interest with the medical field continued to expand after I interned at the American Dental Association's Dental Practice division in ninth grade. Before my internship, I had only seen the clinical aspect of medicine and I was naively unaware of the administrative and legislative side that supports all of the doctors and dentists. It was interesting to learn just how dentists and their professional organizations all interacted together.

While still in high school, I also had the privilege to volunteer as an anesthesia technician at Huntsville Hospital, a level 1 trauma facility. While on my very first shift, I was able to watch an emergency cesarean section. The nurses all assumed I would faint and were quick to remind me not to fall on anything blue. The moment I heard the new born cry for the first time, I absolutely knew the hospital was where I wanted to work.

As a student at Hampden-Sydney College, I have continued to gain experience by volunteering as an EMT with the local rescue squad and fire department in Prince Edward County.

13. Describe Your Reasons and Goals for Pursuing a Career in Medicine

As a doctor, I hope to become a patient advocate. My involvement with the rescue squad has shown me the horrible effects of limited access to care. Many of the under privileged citizens in Prince Edward County use the ambulance service and the local ER as their only doctor's office. Other patients have been diagnosed with chronic pain or similar conditions but have no way of affording their medications or therapies. Instead, they are forced to suffer. Their only relief comes when they call 911. I find it hard to believe that conditions like this exist in the United States today.

Of course, much worse conditions exist outside of our country's borders. My involvement with the American Red Cross in high school really gave me a global perspective on medical issues today. As a potential healthcare worker, I hope to continue my involvement, in whatever capacity possible, with the Red Cross or another humanitarian organization.

By pursuing a career in medicine, I would like to be actively involved in finding solutions, rather than continuing the status quo. It is obvious that our nation's and our world's current healthcare systems are in need of adjustment. While I do not see myself individually changing the world, I would like to think that I will, at least, be a part of the solution.