Iremember my first clinical rotation in my hometown of Los Angeles. Atthe LAC+USC County Hospital ENT department, I discovered that mybilingual education in medicine at UniversidadAutonoma de Guadalajara (UAG)had perhaps become my most valuable asset as a soon-to-be physician.
Thatday started like most clinic days I had experienced in Mexico. I wasperfecting my inter-personal relationships with the patients, whichincluded studying their medical history and current health status tomake clinical decisions for them. Not long after my first hour ofseeing patients, an elderly female patient arrived at the clinic. Ilater established that she hailed from Guadalajara. Besides not beingable to express her condition well, the patient was also not able tocommunicate her symptoms effectively.I offered to interview the patient in Spanish, after which I thenpresented the information to the residents.I was not only able to get a complete understanding of what she wasexperiencing, but also created a connection with her on a morepersonal level. For instance, she went further to enquire myknowledge of Spanish, precisely how I came to learn the language.Using the information I obtained from the lady, the residents and Iwere able to narrow down to the possible ailments she would have beensuffering. The suspected diseases were Ménièredisease, benign paroxysmal positional vertigo, orthostatichypotension, and central vertigo. Insubsequent rotations and observerships, I have continued to refine myproficiency in interviewing Spanish-speaking patients, which has alsohelped me to sharpen my skills in medicine.
Overtime, I have made some progress in the medical field. One of thehighlights is establishing a strong personality, improving on mystrengths as demonstrating unique attributes. Additionally, Iconsider joining the UAG as a success. The American Program at UAGhas given me the opportunity to learn, grow and work towards becominga bilingual doctor with a humanistic touch. I acknowledge the factthat the program has some challenges, such as training far away fromhome and having to perfect my English over a short time. However, Ihave received praise from my trainers and peers alike for my abilityto adapt swiftly and learn quickly too. I firmly believe that mysuccess in classes and management of the USMLE exams speaks volumesabout my ambition to practice medicine and my ability to adapt to anychallenges that may come my way.
Ibelieve that the many challenges I have faced have played a role inmaking me a potentially competent practitioner. For instance,learning a foreign language has helped me to realize my strength tomaster new knowledge and information. I have a strong feeling thatthat learning medicine in Spanish has contributed to expanding myknowledge base. Additionally, I have gained considerable experienceworking in a multicultural environment. I have come to learn thatthere is more to being a good healer than only having medicalknowledge. One must be able to communicate across cultures andunderstand how different belief systems impact attitudes towardshealth and medicine. By the time I arrived at New York MedicalCollege for my fifth year, I had noticed that I had an advantage ofworking with patients from diverse backgrounds. I am convinced thatmy time at UAG has given me a unique set of skills that will enableme to make distinctive contributions to any medical team that Ibecome a part. Regardless of the environment I am in – emergencyroom, ICU, outpatient clinical – I have been able to bring ahumanistic touch of medicine to all the patients I see.
Iam extremely excited to continue moving forward toward achieving mygoal of becoming an accomplished internist. I am strongly drawn tothis specialty due to the comprehensiveapproach to medical illness with an emphasis on the patientrelationship.Duringmy clinical rotations, I have turned out to be a good problem solver.At some point, my team had to deal with a patient who had an unknowncause of general colicky abdominal pain. She had been admitted todifferent hospitals and had undergone a handful of tests, includingperitoneal fluid analysis, but still, no doctor could determine herproblem. However, after questioning her, I realized skipping mealsand her history of anemia may be connected. I presented the idea tothe doctor, suggesting a possible case of porphyria. Her lab testresults of blood porphyrin levels confirmed my diagnosis.
Inthe medical field, I have an interest in three main areas. Theseinclude general internist, family doctor or an emergency physician.As a general internist, I will have the opportunity serve peoplesuffering from acute and chronic problems. I will also work with somepatients, with whom I look to form a personal and up closerelationship with. At both the individual and professional levels, Ihave the drive to building a connection with the local community.Additionally, as a general internist, I will have a chance to utilizemy strengths and better serve the patients by establishing rapportand understanding their long-term medical histories. Secondly, Iwould be interested in working as a family doctor. I like this optionas it gives me a chance o work with the same patients over a longtime, hence, having the responsibility to determine their generalhealth. Finally, I would like to work in the emergency department. Iam always excited by the idea of having to intervene in emergenciesand helping the patients out of their problems. In the emergencydepartment, I will have the responsibility of making crucialdecisions that determine the difference between life and death. Theseare my most coveted areas in the field of medicine.