I’ve been watching the World Cup (What’s wrong with Spain?!) when a random though hit me. The last time I watched the World Cup, I didn’t even think about becoming a doctor. The last time I watched the World Cup, I was 19 years old, recently married, and thinking that school was a bore. It’s amazing how things can change in just four years, so I wanted to take some time today to reflect on it.
Four years ago, I was thinking that I would probably go into Psychology, I had already declared it, and I was thinking about a minor in English. I wanted to do something with Abnormal Psychology, but I also wanted to go into Cognitive Psychology; I already loved how the brain worked, even back then. I remember writing a paper on the amygdala, which is a part of your brain that deals with emotion and motivation. I found it really interesting and I wanted to learn about it, maybe find a way to conduct some research on it in the future. I hadn’t thought about being a doctor, yet here I am.
It was later that year that I started thinking about it, but it wasn’t until a year later that I held the brain that changed my mind. I’d like to think I’ve grown as a person; I’m more dedicated, a better student, a better wife, better pet owner, and I feel like I owe it all to making this decision. Caring for others is probably the best thing someone can do, and I don’t think I would’ve figured that out if I hadn’t started volunteering.
Four years ago, before I thought about medicine as a career, I started volunteering at an animal shelter. I’ve been volunteering for them for almost four years, and I love it. I take care of cats at a Petco about half an hour from where I live while they wait to be adopted. I’ll talk about it more in future posts, but you can learn about people from helping animals. Even if you volunteer somewhere that isn’t related to medicine, remember that all that matters is what you learn from it!
Two years ago, I started volunteering at a hospice. I’ve learned so much from the people I have accompanied in their last months. My first “patient” is still alive, the next two I’ve had have passed on. I can’t thank them enough for what they’ve taught me, and I will always remember them and keep them in my heart. I currently have a patient with severe dementia; she’s lovely, but she doesn’t talk much. I will also talk more about my hospice experience in another post.
Last year, my GPA (not overall, unfortunately) was almost perfect. I got 3.98 both semesters, and I felt like I could finally deserve to get into medical school. I also started volunteering at Big Brothers Big Sisters in October. I hadn’t realized how much I enjoyed hanging out with kids and helping with their homework. My little was a very smart little girl and I hope that I have inspired her to go to college when she grows up. 🙂 I also shadowed a Physician for four-five months; it was an amazing opportunity and I’m very thankful for it! He is a Family Practitioner and has taught me just what it takes to be a good doctor. I want to be just as kind as he is; every single one of his patients loved him! No one ever complained about him; it was amazing! I’ll talk more about that in another post as well. 🙂
As far as this year goes, last semester I was an online Physiology lab instructor. It was a great experience, and I’ve learned a lot about college students. It was also great for reviewing all the Physiology stuff I learned during Fall semester. I may interview to be an Anatomy lab instructor after I take an Anatomy class if I do well. We’re lucky enough to have cadavers in our Anatomy lab, so I’m a little nervous but excited. It will definitely be a great experience to be in the class, but if I become an instructor I will have to do the actual dissections. I’ll let you know how that goes when I take the class and whether or not I will try to become a lab instructor. 🙂
I’m currently out for the summer. All I’m doing for volunteering is the animal shelter and hospice so far. BBBS is out for the summer, so I don’t get to do that until August. I’m thinking about volunteering at a hospital nearby, I just need to fill out the application and turn it in! I’m also thinking about starting a CNA program; I want/need to get a job and I think it would be good for me to find one in a healthcare setting. I initially thought about EMT, but it’s more expensive and it doesn’t start until August. I need to do something to keep myself entertained this summer, and I also don’t want to be going to regular classes in the normal and doing an EMT program at night. Hopefully I will be working by the time school starts, I just hope it won’t be too demanding since I’m going to need plenty of time to study O-Chem
and I desperately need an A!
I always feel like I’m not doing enough; I should be volunteering more, more shadowing, more leadership opportunities, or research since I don’t have any yet! This helps me remember that I’m on the right path and that I’ve accomplished a lot. I will always feel like I’m not doing enough, but that doesn’t mean it’s true. If you’re like me and you always feel that way, take a few minutes to look back and see how far you’ve come! It will make you feel a lot better. 🙂
Hopefully by the time the next World Cup comes around, I will be in medical school. 🙂
Wish me luck!