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I cannot pinpoint one moment that leads me to believe being a physician will bring me the most satisfaction and joy, but it is instead a series of events till today. As a child, I eagerly followed my father to the hospital for ‘Take Your Child To Work Day’. My father, who is not a physician himself, expressed his surprise when I left his office to observe the nurses and doctors walking in and out of each theatre. They attended to each patient and consoled a few distressed relatives. At an impressionable age, this image remained in my head as I grew up. I believe Medicine is the epitome of empathy for others and sacrifice to fulfil your duty thoroughly. I take it to be a privilege to provide care for our community and it is a field that I am assured I can utilise the qualities I have learned for the greater good of our people.
By shadowing physicians and nurses in various clinics in Nepal last year, I have grown to admire the role of doctors in our community. My mentors did not speak English, nor did I speak Nepali. Learning to work with our differences has challenged me to become a better listener and appreciate the diversity in our different backgrounds. This was invaluable in developing meaningful relationships with people that I am truly grateful for. I understood the need for genuine physician-patient relationships in providing effective care. Although necessary, an interpreter may become a barrier to this important connection, which has become my motivation to learn sign language in the hopes that I can communicate with and reach more people.
I could appreciate the connection between what I had learned in biology at school and its application in a clinical setting. For instance, a third-year medical student, Rouyniar, who was generous enough to explain the process of osmosis was eager to share his knowledge. I respected his passion and dedication to his craft and the community. His experience fueled my curiosity for the human body. I want to be a physician who can continuously bring my knowledge to the benefit of others.
In the Emergency Room at Chitwan Medical College, a young girl was brought in barely conscious. I was asked to call on a nurse. Seven physicians crowded around the child, and at that moment I saw the frailty of the human body. I played a very small role yet I felt a deep sense of responsibility for her and her family’s wellbeing.
I believe that an excellent physician must be dedicated and empathetic. These are skills that I learned from my experiences in both shadowing and volunteering which I will carry through my life. My genuine passion for may have begun from a trivial experience, but I believe it will be lifelong.
The clinical placements in rural Nepal gave incredible insight into health care in developing countries. We were able to observe procedures and treatment of diseases that are not common in Australia. The disparity in the quality of available health care between Australia and rural regions regrettably became apparent. It was difficult to see families suffering in the lack of accessible medical care. To minimise this pain in our community, I fully understand and admire James Cook University’s emphasis on rural medicine as I can only see the prosperity it will bring to remote communities. Participating in the dental outreach program in Nepal accentuated the lack of education for basic hygiene in rural areas. This was unfortunate as I believe educational programs on disease and illnesses is critical and enhance health in the community. Building houses in rural Cambodia, I saw the essence of hard work and the current generation’s sincerity in bringing education back to the community during its recovery from the Khmer Rouge Genocide. I want to display the same driven nature and passion in bringing wellbeing to rural communities in Australia.
English is not my native language, and I went through a process of learning from the beginning. I understand the difficulty in this and sympathise with those going through the same process. This has proved useful in my volunteering as a gardener for the elderly and disabled and is also what allowed me to build a closer relationship with our host Cambodian families. As a child, I used to be very shy. However, dancing has allowed me to form intimate connections with individuals of different ages and backgrounds. Dancing in a performing group for the past seven years has shown me the importance of teamwork and working with each member’s strengths for the best possible outcome. It has taught me valuable lessons of working consistently towards a goal under pressure, which has become significant to me as a student striving to be a physician.
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