Undergoing surgery as a twelve-year-old made me realize how integral doctors are in my life. I knew surgery was going to be painful, but I did not anticipate how difficult recovery would be. The doctors were there for me, whether it was to help me eat, drink or even walk. Living through this experience helped me realize the pain of a patient, but also the power of a doctor.
As a doctor, I want to share a smile, heal people, and support them to finish their race, see them run again, this time, farther and faster. A doctor not only makes a difference in people’s lives, but they save them. Having this great opportunity comes not only with merit, but also with compassion. By realizing my passion for science, math, and service, I realized why I wanted to be a doctor.
I had the opportunity to shadow Dr. Babu Kumar at Family and Internal Medicine of Dixwell Avenue for 150 hours. I saw how a family physician treats patients and manages a medical facility. I also shadowed Dr. Renu Bazaz-Kapoor at CareMEDICA for 4 hours. Here I was able to see how a DO physician treats her patients and learn the deeper difference between a MD and DO. I worked as a Medical Assistant Auxiliary at Family and Internal Medicine of Dixwell Avenue for 150 hours. This job called me to organize patients’ medical records into an online database and helped medical assistants with their routine responsibilities.
During the summer, I volunteered at the Area Health Education Center (AHEC), located in the rural farms of Connecticut for 23 hours. The AHEC helps migrant farmers receive access to free healthcare. As a high school volunteer, I registered the farmers, measured their blood pressure and sugar levels, and shadowed a medical student and a doctor.
Shadowing Dr. Babu Kumar and Dr. Renu Bazaz-Kapoor helped me get direct exposure to medical practice so that I was able to truly learn what a doctor does in their daily lives. By shadowing, I saw how a doctor has a tremendous impact on patient’s lives and their communities, but also the struggle and hard work it takes to handle that level of responsibility. Shadowing helped me to see the reality of what a doctor does instead of anecdotes or what I thought a doctor does.
When volunteering for AHEC, I realized how each of the farmers guided me in finding my passion. Through their stories, I saw how much of an impact medicine had on the community. Seeing how people were deprived of healthcare made me wonder how I was called to serve others, and how I wanted to make a difference in society. Seeing how doctors could create such a tremendous impact on these farmers lives inspired me to want to make a difference in others’ lives.
I was a Yale New Haven Hospital Youth Volunteer for 211 hours. Here I was able to work towards being a Youth Leader for my peers. As a youth leader, I helped the Yale Volunteer Staff, helped to train incoming volunteers, and coordinated other activities for the hospital. In Yale New Haven Hospital, I had the opportunity to be a Pediatric Short Term Surgery Volunteer where I helped take care of children hospitalized in this unit. I also volunteered in the Nurse Aid unit, Lab unit, and volunteered as an ambassador.
During my senior year summer, I volunteered for Habitat for Humanity in Delaware, where we helped build houses for those who could not afford houses in New Castle County. This school mission trip took place for a week in June 2018. During my sophomore year summer for 27 hours, I volunteered in Sacred Heart Manor where I helped assist retired sisters with their needs. I was also a Hospital of Central Connecticut volunteer for 38 hours as an ambassador helping guide patients to their destination.
In my local church, Mary Our Queen, I am an altar server and lector. Every weekly mass I am able to help at my local church and serve or lector at Mass.
When I walked back in the hospital-the same place I had surgery five years before—, I walked back in this time as a volunteer. I had the opportunity to help children in the short-term surgery section. There, I saw how content the doctors were, as they were taking care of the children, comforting them as they were crying, and rejoicing as they were discharged. Seeing their fulfillment inspired how I wanted to live my life: by watching a patient’s pain and suffering turn into joy and gratitude.
In addition, seeing those less fortunate helped me to realize how actions of service or community work can truly make a tremendous impact. Though in Habitat for Humanity I was working with sod and a shovel instead of a stethoscope and scalpel, I still was able to see how hard work, whether physically or mentally, truly creates a difference in humanity.
The interpersonal competency that best describes me is service orientation. Though I have limitations, I still strive to help others. When volunteering for the AHEC clinics or Habitat for Humanity, I was able to see a world outside my secured home and school. This is where I was inspired to make a difference. What I witnessed at these places stayed with me. Even though I was only sixteen years old, I wanted to create a meaningful impact on my community; so I approached the director and the founder of the AHEC clinics asking him whether he could guide me to start free volunteer based clinics in urban areas at soup kitchens, just like the clinics the doctor was able to start.
I realize not only do rural populations need healthcare, but also the urban population who cannot afford healthcare has trouble accessing their necessary medical needs. Unfortunately, the doctor informed me I was too young to start such a feat, as there were many laws and regulations I did not understand. The doctor helped me to understand, but also inspired me to keep this determination and passion in my heart.
The intrapersonal competency that best describes me is capacity for improvement. In high school, I was passionate about mathematics. Even though math was not a very popular subject in school, the mathematics teams were competitive. During my junior year, I joined a math team called Moody. This team would prepare for the big Moody Mega Math Challenge, where teams had to solve a real applicable world problem in 14 hours by using and creating mathematical equations.
Our team worked hard trying to prepare for this challenge hoping to be able to place in this competition. Instead of having fun on Fridays, I spent those days doing math. The day of the challenge came in March, where I knew I would be doing 14 hours of grueling work. As our team worked to find a solution, our heads were spinning as we had trouble creating the equation. The time was up and we waited anxiously to see whether we were going to place. Unfortunately, we did not, but this did not stop us from trying harder the next year.
Senior year, I joined the Moody team knowing all the dedication and effort I would have to reapply, expect I would apply more to get further in the challenge. As we worked harder and smarter to train ourselves for the 14 hours, we realized our past mistakes, and how we could correct them. The day of the challenge came. Though there were challenges with weather, we still worked all 14 hours creating mathematical equations to model real problems, analyzing the problems given to us. Later, when the results came out we realize we placed in the top 20%! We were ecstatic and realized how dedication and wisdom allowed us to work harder and smarter.
Three years post-surgery, I did not feel any unusual pain. Until, I felt a sharp shooting pain in my stomach. I thought I could just ignore it, but after a while, I realized I could not tolerate the pain anymore and had to excuse myself to the bathroom. Later, I realized I was unable to digest food properly; I had acid refluxes. The next year, I suffered from a series of allergy attacks where the cause was unknown. It was hard for me to deal with this, as I was heavily involved in my community.
I always was the girl smiling in the hallways and making everyone’s day better, not the girl crying in the bathroom because I was stressed out whether I could eat my next meal. It would have been easier to escape my problems. Yet, I put on a smile every day because I want others to know there was someone always there; they did not have to endure pain alone. These experiences made me realize how fortunate I was to have a healthy body, but I could not realize this before. Nothing in life is granted, especially life itself. Understanding this made me stronger and more determined, as I did not let my limitations define me. Instead, I let these experiences inspire me and make me more determined to become better. I realized I have one life, and I will make the most use of it.
By continuing my studies at SUNY Upstate College of Medicine, I can acquire more knowledge in the medical field while still having essential qualities, such as altruism, charism, and responsibility. This is clearly seen in the vision statement, which strives to create a healthier world through compassion and integrity while embracing diversity and inclusion. In addition, SUNY Upstate is doing innovative research on prevalent diseases such as cancer, diabetes, and other diseases. This allows students to be able to see the depths of each disease and gain more hands-on visual experiences. Upstate is also connected to many hospitals in the Upstate University Health System, which allows students to gain applicable experiences in medicine. Through well-connected professors, diverse curriculum, and multiple opportunities, I can truly thrive at this medical school.
I intend on challenging myself intellectually, by taking advantage of all the resources and opportunities, such as the Dual Admittance Program. At RIT, students do not just learn the lecture, but they also apply it through hands-on learning. With small class sizes, dedicated professors, and advanced labs and equipment, it is clear how RIT students are prepared to thrive in a professional healthcare career. With students sharing similar interests, I can truly thrive as everyone shares their knowledge and passions together.
As an undergraduate student, I want to spend my time truly discovering the beauty of medicine. By being able to concentrate on the subjects I am truly passionate about, I can spend more time expanding my knowledge on medicine. This program will help me keep up with the academic rigor at RIT. I want to advance my studies in a college and a medical school that will help me pursue my passions while helping me grow as a person, and this program would be an awesome opportunity to do so.
There are many ways where everyone is unique. One particular quality that makes everyone unique is his or her experiences. Everyone’s experiences are different. One way my experiences were unique is my personal dependability on medicine. Being able to see the perspective of a doctor and the perspective of a patient helped me to decide why I wanted to be a doctor. For me, it was looking through two sides of a glass, my past experience, and my experience now. Being a patient allowed me to see the hospital room from a person who needed help and being a volunteer helped me to see the hospital as a person ready to help.
In addition, being able to work with underrepresented people, such as the migrant farmers, helped me to learn more about other people’s cultures. I also learned the true hardships of poverty and lack of healthcare when working with the farmers. However, the farmers taught me things I would never be able to learn in a classroom, which is truly, what makes life important.