While volunteering for food delivery at a soup kitchen four years ago, I encountered a diabetic old lady. She walked awkwardly towards me to receive the food and the pile of dusty books behind her caught my attention. As I conversed with her, she shared her love for reading and that her disease had prevented her from borrowing and returning library books. I agreed to help her return them and as she cupped my hands tightly, I could feel her heartfelt gratitude. It was a short interaction but the connection I formed with her and sense of gratification from helping her left me wanting to do more. This experience still holds great personal meaning. I was deeply inspired to pursue a fulfilling career where I could forge similar bonds with people in need. Hence, I was motivated to become a physician and make a difference with expertise and compassion.
A major challenge I faced during my soccer journey was my parents’ disapproval of my participation in the sport. They felt it was an uncommon sport for girls and tried to remove me from the competition team. It was difficult gaining their support while grasping completely new skills. Being part of EXCO, I had the responsibility to put aside personal issues and emotions to stay focused and check logistics meticulously to ensure the success of the team. The goal to contribute to my school and assure my parents pushed me to face these difficulties with grit. I believe such determination would allow me to overcome challenges in the medical environment when dealing with tough clinical situations, decisions and discouraging moments and to be focused and driven regardless of circumstances.
My project working with children at IJHCC has shed light on the importance of collaborative work. The planning phase of our activities was often filled with conflicting opinions and much deliberation was necessary to agree on an activity and reach a compromise. Furthermore, the organisation would require us to make changes to our plans at short notices. To overcome these challenges, my team respected each other’s opinions and had to think of lesson plans on the spot that would benefit and engage the children the most. Likewise, medicine is not an individual pursuit. Working in healthcare sectors requires collaboration and teamwork between doctors and allied health professionals to provide holistic care for patients. Adaptability is also vital especially for physicians to adapt treatments to each patient’s unique symptoms and needs and provide personalised care.
Medicine is science but it is difficult to separate medicine from people, their emotions and struggles. Patients require understanding and empathetic doctors to make them feel cared for, determined doctors that question new advents of medicine and find improved methods of treatment with current technology, doctors that would overcome any challenge to provide the best care for patients. I want to be that doctor, to build strong relationships with my patients and utilise my strengths and knowledge to care for them and contribute to the future of medicine.