Resident Assistant Application: a Journey of Personal Growth and Aspirations in Medicine

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Updated: Aug 21, 2023
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RA Application: A Catalyst for Change

“Jailyn, are you busy?” Sarah, a nurse at Sparrow Hospital, calls over for me. I momentarily put the blankets I am holding away and am at her side. “I need you to check on the patient in that room,” she informs me. I walked into the room and introduced myself, “Is there anything that I can get you?” The patient looked at me, coughing, curled up under the blanket, and shaking his head no. I nod empathetically and utter the fool-proof four magic words, “How about a slushie?” His eyes light up, and his tiny head bobs up and down quickly; I got him.

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I smile, “I will be right back with that.”

I am a volunteer in the emergency room at the hospital. My tasks include: rounding on patients, escorting visitors to patient rooms, and stocking nourishment rooms. Walking through the hospital, I often imagine myself as a physician. Sometimes, I am guilty of considering the patients I am helping as my own. These Wednesday mornings, I take time in between three classes that my commitment to becoming a doctor is affirmed. While I am unwavering in my decision to become a physician, I have not always had such intentions.

From Academic Excellence to Emotional Turmoil

As a young girl, I was always one of the top competitors in the classroom, in talent shows, and even in childish neighborhood games. I enjoyed the challenge of school work, the competition amongst peers, and the rewards of my accomplishments. As a result, as I grew older, I allowed my scholastic achievements to define me. I pinned my value on my academic performance and allowed my mistakes to mean failure automatically. This perception of my self-worth influenced me, as I had always valued the opinions of others in order to get their approval.

Therefore, I began to seek education not for the knowledge itself but for the value it gave me. Coinciding with this fixation with the school was a turbulent, unhealthy romantic relationship. Conflict in my social life and efforts to maintain a perfect academic record led to the onset of anxiety and depression. This problem followed me to college, where it initially interfered with my emotional and mental well-being. However, I overcame and coped with those illnesses and used my experiences as a resident assistant. My motives in choosing to be a resident assistant were primarily to resolve issues in my past, yet through this process, I found that the job was much bigger than myself and affected the lives and experiences of many people. Residents consistently approached me with various problems and often had similar experiences to my own.

A New Perspective: Merging Medicine and Mentorship

As a resident assistant, I directly impacted every student’s emotional, physical, and mental well-being within the building. When an advisor asked me about my plans after graduation, I reflected on how much I had grown through college. I was rewarded by helping others through my job, and I wanted to continue to assist others, yet I did not know in what field. I wanted work that provided intellectual challenges and meaningful interaction with people, as I had enjoyed my resident assistant responsibilities and the healthy retention of knowledge. I was considering becoming a doctor and practicing medicine.

After telling the advisor of my decision, he immediately told me that I would unlikely get into medical school and try another field, ironically, due to my academics this semester. Dejected and disappointed, I sought another field I would be interested in with no success. I then decided to try the aspiration of medicine again by volunteering at the nearest hospital. From then on, my determination to pursue medicine had strengthened.

My resident assistant experience gave me a unique perspective on science. The same techniques I applied in handling fragile situations proved helpful in figuring out an organic chemistry reaction because every reaction differs. In communicating with people from different backgrounds, I sought to ensure that I conveyed what I had intended; this involved approaching people from many angles to create a mutual solution. This process is like the method I use to study biology and organic chemistry.

Rather than simply memorizing the systems and reactions of mechanisms, the ability to identify with and comprehend the actual behavior of molecules and cells is a much more efficient and meaningful way of learning because, much like people, no one reaction or system is the same. In identifying with the subject, I can reason and understand my way through the material. I want to apply these skills to medicine. Rather than simply administering a primary diagnosis, I want to approach each patient with respect for their unique circumstances. Medicine is the field in which my fascination with science and my commitment to helping others will coincide. Until then, however, I may be found on Wednesday mornings in the hospital. I am in the red shirt, carrying blankets, anticipating when to call those patients my own.

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Resident Assistant Application: A Journey of Personal Growth and Aspirations in Medicine. (2023, Aug 21). Retrieved from