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I’m not a pioneer in my family when it comes to the medical field. My Grandfather is an established physician in Puerto Rico with experience in a district hospital. I have never seen someone so unyielding in their mission to make the world a better place, never missing an opportunity where he can improve the lives of those around him, such as delivering free vaccinations to impoverished areas without hesitation. It was my Grandfather’s ability to convey understanding and elicit trust that inspired my initial interest in the medical field. He combined sympathy and kindness with medical expertise in a thorough form of healing that I learned to expect, however, have seldom witnessed in poor communities. As I strive to bring better healthcare to underserved populations, I hope to do so with the same sincere care and attention that I witnessed from my grandfather.
My journey in becoming a physician started when I was younger by giving back to my community. Judo and medicine both offer a level of challenge which requires great discipline, and imposes a goal-oriented approach. My life-long passion for judo started when I was nine years old. Throughout my years as a Judoka, I gained more experience and developed a passion for teaching. After practicing judo for ten years I began to volunteer as an instructor. While volunteering I was subsequently hired by the director of the YMCA because of my sincere dedication to my students. Besides teaching my students the basic Judo techniques, it was imperative that I ingrain values in their lives such as self-discipline and mental endurance. With these morals, my students could conquer any opponent on the mat, or in their daily lives. Being a mentor was one of the most rewarding aspects of being a Judo coach; often the students’ parents would notice a difference in their attitude, grades, and overall persona. This unique experience has prepared me for the leadership roles of being a physician such as having patience and impacting the lives of the people around me.
After all, being a physician means being the leader of your healthcare community. In the future, I plan on demonstrating my leadership by incorporating my lifelong passions for Medicine and Judo into one movement. Besides practicing medicine in an underserved area of the southwest, I want to open a free Judo dojo where I incorporate preventative medicine into the curriculum. Preventative medicine is the revolution needed to resolve the current healthcare crisis in the country. By teaching self-defense, proper technique, stretches, and bodily intuition I believe I will change the lives of my students and their families. The best way for me to acquire those skills is to attend an excellent Medical School that values are associated to Osteopathic Medicine and the South West which is what Burrell College of Osteopathic medicine is all about. By being a graduate of this outstanding school, I will gain an advantage by incorporating the four tenets of Osteopathic Medicine, making connections with future physicians in the local area, and knowing the local culture. This, in turn, will give me the best opportunity at being a well-rounded leader in my local community.
Besides Judo, I have also invested time in the ER. I volunteer at Providence hospital, as a volunteer I have learned what it is like to be a part of a healthcare team. In the ER I assist by cleaning patient beds, prepare equipment for use, bring patients pillows or water, also translating from English to Spanish. These interactions have allowed me to have first-hand interactions with patients. As I spent more time in the hospital, I have noticed the importance of the relationship between a patient and their physician. Seeing as anytime someone is in a hospital they probably are at a vulnerable time in their life, the weight of every interaction as a physician is amplified. Because of the way I was raised and a natural inclination towards the well-being of others, I have the ability to give compassion to sensitive people in their time of need. After volunteering in the ER my dedication was noticed by the chief scribe which offered me a position to become a scribe and further my passion to become a physician.
From all of my experiences I have always started at the bottom and moved my way up with dedication and perseverance; my grandfather planted a seed in me to serve my community and to persevere regardless of the obstacles.
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