One of the opportunities that lead me to this conclusion was volunteering at a hospital. I had the role of spending time communicating with patients and also serving tea and coffee to them. This allowed me to observe doctors and realise that it is essential for a doctor to empathise with a patient in order to truly allow the patient to open up and trust the doctor. Every patient has had different experiences of life, which will have lead them to the person that they are today. I was also able to recognise this quality within myself as at school I work as a peer mentor which involves bringing awareness to sensitive issues such as sexual health and drugs, and working with the younger pupils in the school who may be dealing with said issues. Volunteering at a hospital also highlighted the importance of justice; the equal treatment of all patients independent of non-medical background, which allows the fair distribution of scarce resources.
Through contact with Reach, I was able to shadow a medical student. What stuck with me most was a lecture on the epidemiology of coronary heart disease. This allowed me to comprehend that doctors do not only learn how to treat people, but also must appreciate the extensive causes and factors that increase the risk of individuals developing a disease. This shadowing opportunity also made me fathom just how fast paced and challenging studying medicine is. However, I am not one to cower away from challenges and the prospect of a course and career that will constantly be pushing me and bettering me only attracts me further towards medicine.
As part of medic insight, for a week I was able to shadow various doctors within a hospital. Whilst shadowing a doctor on the respiratory ward I became aware of how active a doctor’s job is as we were constantly on our feet and moving. As well as this the significance of good communication between doctors, nurses, and the patients was heavily emphasized. All staff had to be aware of the condition of each patient and each member worked together in an interdisciplinary team to keep the ward running. What I liked the most about the ward however was the “Hello my name is” approach the doctors took when meeting each patient, making sure to introduce themselves before asking the correct questions to extract the history and symptoms of each patient. I felt this small gesture immediately developed a mutual respect between the patient and doctor.
As head girl at my school, I have developed many of the skills required for a doctor such as team work and good communication. At school, I have also developed excellent organisational skills, which were a result of me having to balance duties as house captain, whilst running after school study sessions, and also taking time out of class to work as a peer mentor. It has also bettered my time management and responsibility as I must travel to another school to study Advanced Higher Chemistry.
A doctor’s job is hard however I cannot think of a job that suits me better. I am persevering and I always want to be challenging myself to better the world in some way, and I hope with all my heart that one day I will be able to look back as a doctor and think I made use of this rare life I have been granted.