Over the course of evolution, our bodies have mastered efficient adaptations to ensure the individual’s optimum growth, by fighting off infection through the powerful army of the immune system. Thus, Medicine instils intrigue in me, as it provides me the opportunity to delve into the intricate mechanisms of the human anatomy and disease and harness the multitude of skills I acquired through work experience to improve a patient’s quality of life.
Whilst I respect the wonderful joy of providing new opportunities to patients through a successful diagnosis, I acknowledge the difficulties of this profession, including its demands of commitment and stress, which I was exposed to at work experience. Throughout my time in endoscopy, I observed how the consultant harnessed empathy and communication skills to put the patient at ease before, during and after the colonoscopy, which raised my awareness to the importance of maintaining privacy, dignity and confidentiality of the patient. Also, I discerned the value of teamwork between doctors, pharmacists and other healthcare professionals when attending a ward meeting, to construct a suitable treatment plan for patients. This experience affirmed my passion for interacting with people, strengthening my resolve to volunteer weekly at Kew House Care Home. This voluntary work is hugely rewarding, as I interact with Activities workers to organise recreation for residents with dementia, where it is wonderful to see a reclusive, disorientated elderly woman, smile and actively engage in a discussion about her life and grandchildren. Also, I have volunteered at the SEND department at school, by liaising with subject teachers, to assist children process information learnt during lessons and increase their confidence when participating in class discussions.
Alongside work experience, I was fortunate to explore anatomy in greater detail by attending Operating Theatre Live, where I perceived how the human physiology translates to disease by dissecting the brain, spinal cord and heart. I was enraptured by how the network of neurons flawlessly sync with one another to compose the nervous system, which urged me to read Kalanithi’s ‘When Breath Becomes Air’, where I reflected on the level of dedication that is required for this profession and the relationship between doctor and patient from a neurosurgeon who became both. Moreover, this summer I attended The Young Doctor Programme, where I was rigorously challenged when asked to lead patient consultation, as I acknowledged the importance of attentive listening to isolate useful information from a patient’s social, family and past medical history and manipulate symptoms into a diagnosis.
As the President of Medics society at school, I confidently lead debates, quizzes and presentations about various aspects of the NHS and ethical case studies. The value of good time management, and adopting a focused and committed attitude were apparent to me as this role enabled me to use a stratified way of prioritising tasks to keep a stable balance between my personal life and the time I locate for weekly meetings. Outside academia, I enjoy playing the violin and badminton to alleviate stress, which has enhanced my manual dexterity and diligence.
Through my experiences, I have attained invaluable insight to the challenging yet hugely gratifying aspects of practising Medicine in the NHS today. I firmly believe that Medicine is more than a respectful job, it will become my vocation, change my perspective of the world, and I am more than ready to embrace it.