A Glimpse into the Heart of a Physician

Editor’s Note: This is a series of real-life essays written by physicians for entry into medical school and into residency. We hope that by sharing these, those who are not physicians will have the opportunity to see the why and know a piece of our hearts. We also hope that those who are physicians will be inspired and touched and helped to remember why we do what we do- the meaning behind our work. Copying these will constitute plagiary.

Right Here, Right Now

“Right here, right now, there is no other place I’d rather be!

Right here, right now, watching the world wake up from history!”

The lyrics of this song became an inspiration for me as I began my journey through medical school.

At a young age, I had already decided that I wanted to be a physician.

Unfortunately, my aspirations were put on hold as I was not accepted to medical school immediately following college. Although disappointed, I put the following year to good use by accepting a position at the NASA Lewis Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio in the Office of Environmental Health/Hazardous Chemicals Division. 

My employment at NASA opened my eyes to the numerous career opportunities available to women in the various scientific fields.

How fortunate I am to live in a society that has “woken up from history,” accepting and encouraging non-traditional careers for women.

Although the opportunities available to me were limitless, I knew my heart belonged in medicine. I was determined, and hopeful, that this ambition would mature into a realistic career focus. Upon acceptance to medical school, I was ecstatic, knowing that I was one step closer to my dream of becoming a pediatrician. 

Medical school was everything I had hoped for and expected.

I worked diligently to absorb as much information and gain as much knowledge as possible, while successfully balancing my medical education with non-academic interests.

My time, efforts, and energy were allocated amongst the local organizations of, and participation in, several professional associations, medical school-sponsored clubs and committees, intramural athletics as well as individual sports. Since the age of four, I have celebrated my Irish heritage by competing in Irish step-dancing competitions in the U.S., Canada, and Ireland. Although the rigors of my medical education prevent me from competing now, I continue to dance in exhibition for the elderly in nursing homes and children in elementary school.

I have been blessed with a love for people and, as a result, my life was further enriched through the development of many satisfying and meaningful friendships with my colleagues at my medical school.

Throughout the third year required clerkships, my strong interest in primary care continued to grow. However, I discovered that, in addition to a love for pediatrics, I thoroughly enjoyed my interactions with the adult population. Thus, I have chosen to pursue a career in the combined internal medicine/pediatrics specialty as it offers the advantages of a diverse patient population, the challenges inherent to a vast assortment of disease processes and the opportunity to develop purposeful and continual alliances with patients and their families. 

I am seeking a program that offers a balance between academic medicine and clinical experience. Also of great importance is an environment that encourages learning and promotes unity within the department and among the housestaff.

My goal is to emerge as a well-rounded and skilled physician, able to practice confidently in a variety of clinical settings while executing quality medical care.

I bring with me an enthusiastic attitude, a compassionate nature, an appreciation for teamwork, and the desire for and commitment for excellence in all of my endeavors. As I begin this fourth, and final, year of medical school I think of all that I have accomplished thus far and, more importantly, what lies ahead. With spirited anticipation I am looking forward to the next step in my education as a resident in internal medicine/pediatrics. 

Those inspirational lyrics continue…

“I was alive and I waited, waited. I was alive and I waited for this!

Right here, right now!”