Practice of Working with Medical Professionals
How it works
“Frozen!” Yelled the OR nurse, while rapidly transporting what appeared to be a simple cystic ovary to the surgical pathology lab. We locked eyes and I immediately got to work. Dr. Sutherland punctured the specimen and fluids came flowing out, but this time there was hair and teeth inside! The rush from seeing my first teratoma was incredibly exhilarating and piqued my curiosity. Yet, while my foray into Pathology played a distinct and remarkable role in my life direction, I quickly discovered that I preferred interacting with colleagues, nurses, students, custodians, physicians, and most of all, patients.
I wanted to associate case numbers with faces and thus began cross training as a phlebotomist, where I came to fully appreciate how each member is important to the medical team. I learned immediately to treat patients with the utmost respect by observing the pillars of our local medical society first-hand. I am the product of my environment: a compassionate, goal-oriented individual with a passion for patient care at my core.
I have a very close and loving first generation family, who instilled in me the value of education – formal and experiential – and an ethic of hard work. My studies in the sciences began when I had my first encounter with an orthopedic PA as their patient. There I had the opportunity to learn about the profession. I partially tore my ACL and wanted to continue playing my senior year of basketball. My PA came up with creative physical therapy plans and treatment to build strength and successfully finish my senior year.
Years later, during college, my ACL and meniscus completely tore. I was disheartened with my health again and let it infect my academic career. I underwent reconstructive surgery and had a difficult recovery. As is clear on my transcript, I withdrew from a few classes and transferred colleges. I did not tolerate painkillers and did not reach full range of motion within the expected 2-3 months, leaving me demoralized. I had to figure out how to clean up my derailment, and turn my trials into triumphs.
I was the on-call histotech and received a phone call from Donor Alliance at 02:00 a.m. They stated that a donor patient had passed and was ready for the pathologist and me to perform frozen sections on the transplantation. Two months later, I received a forwarded letter from Donor Alliance – It was from the receiving patient. They expressed their life changing, positive experience, and gratitude to the successful procedure. I was overwhelmed with the patient’s personal letter and satisfaction. My drive to serve patients was re-ignited.
After reading that letter, I was reinvigorated and confident in my future. This simple thank you letter instilled within me the strength necessary to attain my aspiration of a PA career. In pursuit of this goal, I met with advisors, counselors, and my PA to make an action plan. I became more involved in college. Consequently, I became a teacher assistant, conducted research, and successfully completed my undergraduate degrees. Outside of school, I participated in athletics to upkeep my knee’s stability and continue my passion coaching basketball for kids. Reflecting upon these experiences help me re- dedicate myself daily to always serve with compassion.
Becoming a primary care PA would allow me to build long lasting relationships with patients – to take part in diagnosing and proactively creating action plans for preventive care and treatment. I appreciate the alliance between education and the clinical setting that the profession of a PA has to offer. As a PA there is the opportunity to be a professional student – a lifetime learner. The versatile nature of the profession fulfills my broad interests. Constantly learning and applying those skills in the clinical field. I want to work on the cutting edge of medical advancement in an environment that continually challenges me to learn and master new knowledge and skills.
In reflecting on the experiences that fundamentally shape who I am, the most impactful experiences have come in adversity and perseverance.
I will relentlessly pursue my passion because of people like the donor alliance patient. I will attack life with vigor and passion no matter how daunting the path. In reflection, my family’s encouragement of my interest as a PA has shown me the significance of inspiration, work ethic and passion. My experiences both in medicine and in employment have taught me the value of teamwork, respect and dedication. But most of all, my interaction with patients both directly and indirectly has bolstered my compassion, empathy and devotion to serving all people. Even amidst the pathology lab, my true love has always resided in patient interaction. As I continue a journey that began with creating action plans with my orthopedic PA, I am prepared to work tirelessly and make necessary sacrifices to ensure that I ultimately serve the extraordinary patients and families that have motivated me throughout my life.