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The Story of My Passion for Adolescent Medicine

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To me medicine embodies clear and thoughtful decision informed by the love of science and desire to help others. Yet, it took some time for my passion for Adolescent Medicine to blossom.

I was admitted to the Medical school to the Faculty of General Medicine. During medical school, I eagerly absorbed all possible information and was interested literally in everything: I admired the surgery weekend club, I had a crush on neurology while working on a research project, I was interested in obstetrics and gynecology while taking part in a study group, I thought I would become a remarkable dermatologist while attending extracurricular courses. However, I opted for General Medicine as a specialty for my residency. And I plunged into clinical practice as never before. I still remember the very first time I talked to a patient on my own as a physician. While explaining courses of action to him, I noticed huge respect and genuine attention in his eyes and felt like the most important person on Earth. I found that comforting patients and making their fears of illness melt away was one of my strengths. At the same time, I found that Medicine can be a purely intellectual exercise. My teenage passion for Rex Stout and Agatha Christie detective stories translated into practice. My interest started to grow rapidly, augmented by efforts to learn as much as I could about the subject. The more I learned the more I was fascinated by how little I knew and how much more was out there. In the USA, I was lucky to join Dr. Hameed’s private practice in Brooklyn, which helped me to not only get acquainted with the health care system in the USA but also deepened my passion for helping people. The patients there taught me a lot about resilience, humility, and compassion. Thanks to them, I learned about different cultural aspects as well as the everyday struggles of the underserved. It was a truly inspiring experience.

My days at the Baylor College of Medicine provided to be a completely different perspective, not just in terms of the socioeconomic status of the population it serves, but also the caliber of the facility and conditions it deals with. Every day there, I was happy and excited to wake up in the morning as early as possible and rush to the hospital. My fascination was mainly explained by the chance to learn from the best, witness some mind-blowing cases, and be a part of a collaborative, highly motivating environment. Rotations in the ICU can be rightfully considered one the most challenging experience in my professional life so far. Nevertheless, at the same time, I was able to make a qualitative leap in my clinical development. I have always been interested in early disease prevention. My previous experiences got me thinking what is the right moment to start educating patients about their health. That is how I came to the conclusion that Adolescent Medicine is the right choice for me. My interest is explained, on the one hand, by the plasticity and resilience of adolescents. On the other hand, it is based on the crucial importance of early intervention. I believe that adolescence is an important transitional phase of human life, which builds solid foundations for an adult’s health. My previous experience has given me grounds for this specialty as my understanding adolescent care requires interdisciplinary approach. In future, I hope to balance my time between academic and community work.

Thriving on intellectual and emotional challenges, I know that hard work and compassion will help me stand firm. I am grateful to have found such a satisfying specialty fitting my strengths and I am excited for the next chapter in residency.

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