Medicine is something that in a sense is always improving itself in hopes of understanding the complexity of a human body to better the lives of others. Although I cannot pinpoint when my interest in Medicine began, finding out how the human body functions worked differently to what I thought always made me question the logic behind it.
It is inspiring how much progress has been made in the healthcare industry, even with the enormous complexity of life processes and the challenges of biological research. Work experience at a care home gave me the opportunity to see healthcare from a patients’ perspective. The bond I created with each individual was different and it was rewarding to see that I was making a positive impact on their quality of life. Knowing that interacting with them and getting to know them as a person could take away the loneliness they may face as they waited the next visit from their family and friends gave me a sense of fulfilment. The hardest part of this experience was that some of the elderly had dementia and could not recognise me from the day before. It made me realise that if I felt like this was hard, how much worse would the family of the elderly feel if their parents could not recognise them; it truly was an eye-opening moment. This was further emphasised on my most recent visit to Nepal where I saw my uncle, who was full of life, be a shell of the person he used to be. He would remember my name when I explained who I was but not by my appearance – it was a hard situation to comprehend as although I knew who he was, it was like I was meeting a stranger. He talked of memories from decades ago as if they happened yesterday and yet had difficulty remembering what he had eaten just moments before. It made me question the immense complexity of the human body in its structure and function but also how vulnerable it was to the onset of disease and destruction.
To understand the responsibilities of a doctor and how they interact with their patients, I shadowed a GP. Patient interactions intrigued me the most as you could see how much trust and respect the patient had for their doctor. Similarly, you could see how rewarding it was for the GP when a diagnosis was made versus how difficult it was when they could not. I also witnessed the immense amount of stress that came from the responsibility of being a doctor due to them having to balance their social life and work. Although there is stress from being a doctor, I know there are ways to deal with it by prioritising and letting stress out. I am part of the sports council for netball and sometimes help to coach the junior team to help them develop their skills and improve their progress. Playing netball gives me a sense of place as I am working in a team and sometimes helps me relieves stress. Just like how in netball you must work in a team by communicating and listening to those around you to score a basket, you work in a team in Medicine so that a patient can have better care. I realise that not all patients can be cured but I think one of the most rewarding aspects of Medicine is that you can try and help make quality of patient life a little bit better.
Studying Medicine is not an end, more a beginning as it is not just about learning new things about the world but maybe also having a chance to add to the vast amount of knowledge there already is. It is a career which challenges doctors in a way that is indescribable as each patient has their own history and life that is personal to them – no case will be the same. The possibilities of a career in Medicine is endless and to me the benefits and rewards of being a doctor by helping others outweighs the negatives.
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