sto27 Posted April 25, 2013 Share Posted April 25, 2013 The relaxing atmosphere of summer vacation found me reclining on my bed that morning. As I lay watching the television, not much occupied my mental space -- deep thought was strictly reserved for the school semester. That perspective changed drastically once my younger brother burst into my bedroom. “Daddy’s gone,” he whispered. The forcefulness with which those emphatic words were delivered caught me off-guard. I was stunned that such a simple statement could elicit the feelings of emptiness that ensued. Somehow, I found myself exiting the comfort of my bedroom and moving towards the uncertainty that awaited me in the family room. I met my mother, stepfather, brother and sister already seated, each gazing into the abyss without uttering a word. As I slumped into the nearest chair, countless thoughts began to swirl around in my head. Recollections of my uncle’s selfless and jovial disposition began to flood my memory. The invaluable wisdom garnered from him during his tenure as a surrogate in the absence of my biological father: that was the reason we called him “Daddy.” Despite the pervasive grief that began to set in, I sensed an internal dichotomy between feelings of despair and an unshakable obligation to do something to alter the scene of hopelessness that surrounded me. In retrospect, the death of my uncle proved to be a pivotal moment in my life. Among its many consequences, it played a decisive role in my present desire to become a physician assistant. My first extensive exposure to physician assistants arose from visits to the oncology ward of the hospital where my uncle received chemotherapy treatments to battle his aggressive pancreatic cancer. While the entire hospital staff did an excellent job of attending to my family during our time of greatest trial, I was particularly impressed by a physician assistant named Lisa. Despite her busy schedule, Lisa’s concern and understanding were overwhelmingly evident. The time and effort she invested in ensuring we understood each option’s potential outcome was greatly appreciated. Moreover, as a biology student in his first year of undergraduate studies at the time, I had many queries regarding the physiological progression of such a lethal disease. Lisa addressed these questions and encouraged me to delve deeper in my knowledge. A few more conversations with Lisa convinced me that pursuing a career in the medical field would be the appropriate choice for me. Initially, the only way to make a difference seemed to lie in the discovery of cures for life-threatening diseases. However, upon contemplating the events pertinent to my uncle’s passing, I realized that the comfort and compassion afforded to a patient are just as important as a drug that is prescribed. Though sickness cannot be entirely avoided, the experience of my uncle’s hospitalization instilled a strong ambition to practice medicine: not only to diagnose and treat illnesses, but to do so while rendering empathy that is often neglected within the clinical environment. The progression of my uncle’s debilitation served as an exceptional contrast to my eventual position as a physical therapy aide. There, I was granted the opportunity to witness and take part in peoples’ healing and rehabilitation. The number of patients I was able to establish a favorable rapport with surprised me. Assisting patients with exercises, while discussing events in their lives, was extremely gratifying to me. Being tasked with taking patients’ vital signs prompted a desire to extend my scope of practice, so that I could be more involved in caring for them. Hearing patients inquire “Is Taofik going to be there on that day?” as they scheduled their next appointment reinforced the fact that my presence, though seemingly insignificant in comparison to the advanced-level providers, truly did make a difference. My time as an aide caused me to comprehend that medicine is more than just the diagnosis and prescription; it is playing an active role in the road to recovery. The events that have occurred in my life have immeasurably motivated me to pursue a career as a physician assistant. Though many would consider me “young,” I am convinced that these experiences have bestowed a degree of awareness upon me that will broaden my ability to relate to patients. I consider it an invaluable privilege to be able to facilitate the recovery of those who are physically afflicted. My experiences thus far have enabled me to do that in a preliminary fashion, and I believe that a career as a physician assistant will grant me the opportunity to accomplish that goal in a much greater manner. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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