“Before you were even born, a circle was drawn in the sand exactly where you are standing.”
I am so inspired.
Last year, I shadowed an anesthesiologist who made a lasting impression on me, and truly sparked a fire in me to pursue surgery after exposing me to an operating room for the first time. Today, she took me and two of my classmates out to lunch. All three of us shadowed her during undergrad, and all three of us were accepted to medical school. She spoke of her struggle to find a specialty that suited her best and reminded us that it’s a process. It doesn’t have to happen right away, and you can change your mind along the way. The important thing is to keep assessing your situation and asking yourself, “Am I happy?” If you’re not, then find a way to fix it. At the end of our time together, she gave us one last parting token of advice:
“Find at least one thing that you like in every patient.”
Then after class was over, I went to the first journal reading for the new Global Surgery and Anesthesia club. In just two hours I was impacted so profoundly. Only four medical students showed up to the meeting (not including the club president), and yet a renowned global surgeon and 3 immensely busy surgery residents devoted their golden time to speak with us. As I sat in this surgeons house, I couldn’t help but admire the beautiful, eclectic structures and artwork lining his rooms. His eyes glossed over as he recounted buying a canvas from a man who painted only with his hands, or when he beamed with delight while admiring a massive, vibrant painting that one of his students abroad painted him.
The realm of global health and surgery is so expansively foreign to me. The air was filled with names of researchers, doctors, organizations, and jargon that I let swirl around me, immersing myself in this novel field that somehow felt like home. I felt a feeling of… permanence. A sense of belonging, as if I have been building upon this theme in a past life. They spoke of the revolution that is slowly emerging – the sudden recognition of the need for global surgery initiative – and I couldn’t help but feel like this is my window of opportunity that is opening before me.
And yet, I can’t help but marvel in wonder at the prestige and influence of these people creating revolutionary changes – and I wonder – how did they learn all of that? There is no way someone like me, coming from no medical background and poor understanding of health care, could ever grasp the system mechanics and politics and endless processes that all cohesively must occur in order to produce change.