The medical profession attracts a certain type of person; one who loves science, wants to make a positive impact, and strives to help others. These reasons are the foundation of why I want to go to medical school, but my experiences have further strengthened my passion for patient care and have molded the way I want to practice medicine.
Over the years I have experienced the beauty and the beast of the healthcare profession. The beauty is that a concept researched in a lab or taught in lecture is utilized in real world situations to produce miraculous results. We see it everyday, babies being born in the hands of an OBGYN and bones being fused back together with the tools of an orthopedic surgeon. Physicians bring science to life for the sole purpose to bettering another human beings quality of life, and I witnessed this selflessness the day my father was taken to the emergency room after attempting to take his own life with a drug overdose. That emergency physician worked confidently and quickly in order to save my fathers life and further ensured that he would get the care needed to overcome his addiction. That day awakened my passion for medicine and with every experience since then I continuously discover the kind of physician I hope to become.
My personal and volunteer experiences have drawn my attention to the vastness of the medically underserved community. Growing up in a low-income family, getting medical care was extremely depersonalized and disheartening. If we were able to get an appointment at the county clinic we would inevitably have to sit in the waiting room for hours before being seen by the doctor. The doctor could not afford to spend more than a few minutes with each patient so there was no time for questions or inquiries. The entire process was a struggle. When I started volunteering with Doctors Without Walls Santa Barbara Street Medicine, I realized that not much had changed for people in hard situations. The clinics are still understaffed and there are not enough doctors to see all of the patients that need care. Additionally, more and more doctors are refusing to see patients with government insurance because of the low reimbursement for physicians. Medicine has become a business, with the focus being on numbers instead of healthy people. Being properly diagnosed and treated accordingly should not be a luxury that can be bought, and with my medical degree I hope to bring health and hope into a community that is already wounded.