How Your Background, Experience or Academic Program Has Prepared You for Meeting Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine's Mission, Goals, Objectives?
With my past encounters, I am sure that my personal experiences and educational background have adequately prepared me for meeting Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine's goals, mission, vision, and objectives. The mission of this college is to offer training to osteopathic physicians to practice primarily in the minority population and the underserved communities. Coming from a country with poor healthcare services, I understand what these people go through, and I am ready to bring change in their lives. The college is also aimed at improving health outcomes in various ways such as public service and research. I am very committed in healthcare provision since I was a kid and I am still passionate to date.
Why Osteopathic Medicine?
Over the years, I have had a particular liking and interest in osteopathic medicine since it is a field that medical practitioners use to achieve high levels of wellness in their patients (Barnes, Bloom, & Nahin, 2008). I am very passionate about health promotion and disease prevention as well. While studying in this field, I have gained many benefits of modern medicine which include the prescription of different drugs, diagnosis of disease, evaluation of injuries, and the use of advanced technology. Working in the field has enabled me to practice and offer treatment to various patients through a system known as osteopathic manipulative medicine. In the area of osteopathic medicine, I have the chance of choosing any specialty, for instance, drug prescription or performing surgeries anywhere in the United States. Due to the additional benefits of this field of medicine, patients can receive better diagnosis and treatment (Wardwell, 1994). Therefore, osteopathic medicine makes me feel fulfilled and content since I enjoy doing my work and promoting better healthcare in my patients.
Another inspiration that made me choose this field is due to the shortage of physician workforce in the states as reported by the American Association of Medical Colleges in 2015. AAMC reported that there is a significant gap between the supply and demand of physicians in the state. The curriculum is also flexible, and apart from the usual study hours, osteopathic students must take 200 extra hours of training specifically in osteopathic manipulative medicine (Wardwell, 1994). We are given a chance to improve our hands-on skills and techniques that are essential in restoring motion and alleviating pain. In this field, physicians are trained to have a holistic approach to patient care and how to communicate with people of diverse backgrounds.
Have You Been Exposed to A Diverse Environment and How Did You Contribute?
I have worked with people from diverse backgrounds, and the experience has been great. Over the years, I had the opportunity to examine and treat people of different ages and color, and the experience has been fantastic. The most significant element that I have learned in my line of duty is that it is crucial for people to respect each other's professions despite their race or origin. Working with the elderly gives me joy, and I am happy to take care of my patients as I would do to my father. Children, on the other hand, are cheerful and it encourages me to tell their parents that their little ones will be fine.
Have Has Your Academic Background and Personal Experiences Prepared You for Medical School?
I have struggled in my academics for the longest time primarily due to the education system in Iran. Twelve summers ago, I discovered that I had been declined to join a medical school despite my excellent grades and being the top student in my class. My religious beliefs were the primary reason why I was not given a chance to pursue my dream course. After immigrating to the United States, I joined the Community College of Baltimore County and did a part-time job at a pharmacy. I became a certified pharmacy technician and graduated in 2015 after which I transferred to the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. However, my classes were challenging since they were costly and I had to work to get extra money for my tuition. With my education background, I believe that I can make it in medical school as I have gathered enough funds to pay for my fees and take care of myself as well.
However, my personal experiences made me stronger and the passion to practice medicine increased. In my home country, Iran, one could only see a doctor when extremely sick, and antibiotics would be administered. I was ill most of the time from my allergies and weak immune system. I was frequently taken to see my father's cousin who had become a physician after the revolution. She was very welcoming and watching her take care of me inspired me to become a medic and help others in the same way. From my childhood experience, I often rushed to accident scenes to help people or merely nurse small wounds and cuts. Soon after, my father developed a heart attack and was diagnosed with several other illnesses. However, his treatment protocol was never updated, and there were no regular check-ups with the doctors. We thought his condition was stable, but his other body organs like the liver were failing. My father always encouraged me and insisted that would make an excellent healthcare provider. My personal experiences like the loss of my father, my job, and having to work extra hours and challenging classes at the university have made me more resilient and thankful for the chance I have to make a difference. I feel ready for medical school, and I have a firm conviction that I will succeed and graduate to become on the best healthcare providers in the state.
How Did A Shadowing Experience Influence You?
My shadowing experience was one of the most helpful and inspiring moments of my life. I was lucky to have worked with one of the best healthcare professionals in the state. I was very inspired as I watched the doctor communicate and treat his patients. He was extremely friendly and answered all the questions I had regarding the field. The experience came right after my family, and I migrated to America since Iran did not have the necessary medical equipment to treat many diseases. The lack of resources in my country resulted in my father's death who succumbed to multiple organ failures at the age of 54, a condition that would have been maintained if there was better healthcare in Iran. Working with various doctors and other medical practitioners and watching them treat patients gave me hope of becoming a great doctor in the future. The medics were very enthusiastic about their jobs, and there was no discrimination against patients whatsoever. In the past in Iran, I was denied the chance of pursuing medicine based on my religious beliefs despite having passed in my exams.
Barnes, P. M., Bloom, B., & Nahin, R. L. (2008). Complementary and alternative medicine use among adults and children; United States, 2007.
Wardwell, W. I. (1994). Alternative medicine in the United States. Social science & medicine, 38(8), 1061-1068.
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