I recently began my clinical rotations at Florida Hospital this past week and although shadowing is not a requirement, it makes your medical school resume more competitive. This experience not only has altered my perception of life, but I’ve gained a newfound appreciation for my well being. Seeing numerous people with a variety of chronic illnesses and diseases opened my eyes to the lack of knowledge surrounding health.
One patient in particular has been battling sickle cell disease for their entire life; she’s forty years old and a mother of two. Along with excruciating joint pain and body aches, she was also in need of an oxygen mask due to having difficulty breathing. Thankfully, she has the support of her parents to assist with her illness and children, but I can only imagine her daily stressors.
It’s sometimes hard to fathom why bad things happen to good people, but unfortunately, that is life. There is no easy way to accept these circumstances, but this is what makes the job of a physician special because they have the ability to either find cures or assist with prolonging the life of the patient. This experience has further much confirmed my reasoning to pursue my specialty of interest because it breaks my heart to see those in pain. Dermatology not only allows me to educate others about skin care and assist with clearing their skin, but empower them and build their self confidence.
I highly advise those of you who are premed students or anyone interested in pursuing a career in the medical field to not only shadow at a private practice, but at an actual hospital. It will allow you to see what you’re interested in, as well as what you can and can’t handle. Being a medical professional includes having to keep your composure even during high stress situations. If you have a genuine passion to help those and love medicine, then go for it. Yes it will be a challenging journey, but the outcome will be rewarding.