Why I Choose Osteopathic Medicine as My Future Career
Ever since I embarked on my journey towards a career in medicine, I have been driven by a deep-rooted desire to make a meaningful difference in the lives of others. After careful consideration and self-reflection, I understand why I drawn towards the osteopathic medicine. In this secondary essay, I will share examples of the reasons why I chose to study osteopathic medicine and how it aligns with my passion for healing and serving others.
Tearful babies scream while resting on bony shoulders. Muddy children, without shoes and ripped clothes, kick around a deteriorating soccer ball. Yet, here I was, a freshly showered American soccer player on a bus feeling sorry for these people. As we drove to Christ the Redeemer, the injustice throughout Rio de Janeiro followed. I stepped off the bus and stood beneath the immense structure in reflection of the depressing living conditions. I am uplifted to see Christ watching over Rio with open arms. Yet, I struggled to see God’s plan for these suffering people.
As a child, I dreamed of becoming a professional soccer player and in college I pursued my passion for solving puzzles through mathematics. However, none of these dreams gave me the fulfillment I desired. Throughout my journey, I discovered that medicine could give me the opportunity to rectify inequalities, restore people’s livelihood and pursue my passion for learning and solving problems. Medicine provides an avenue to help underserved people and achieve what I believe is my ideal purpose in life.
As the son of a physician, I was fascinated and inspired to help those in need when rounding with my dad. Out of breath, I ran to keep up with him as he flew purposefully through hospital hallways. White coats whirled around me in all directions while doctors talked in what seemed like a foreign language. I was captivated by the selfless world within. I witnessed the instant comfort and happiness my dad provided patients once he entered the room. As he cradled a newborn baby with care, the mother’s eyes reflected the trust she had for my dad. The patient’s happiness reflected in me and I knew I too wanted to help the ill.
Exercising my passion for helping the underserved, I started volunteering at hospitals. In my first few weeks of volunteering, I walked a patient named Tracy to her appointment. “How is your day going?”, I asked with a smile. “Not too good, my cancer came back for the third time and I am not going through treatment again”. I was speechless and frustrated to know I could not help her. Through moments like this, I learned illness marks a vulnerable time in people’s lives, thus making compassion and kindness vital to the patients well being. The physician takes the heavy responsibility of treating the patient. I want to be the one fighting for my patient, even if that means telling the family we did all we could. Moments like the interaction with Tracy motivate me to become a physician.
Demonstrating perseverance and my desire to learn, I attended a masters program to grow as a student and future doctor. The program enlightened me with the osteopathic approach of medicine. Despite similar symptoms, patients may have different and critical underlying contributors. A headache of mine and a headache of one of the children I saw in Brazil may have two different sources. With the holistic approach, I will be able to obtain the knowledge that will enable me to give the best care possible to my patients. The privilege of being a doctor of osteopathic medicine is a dream that I am determined to make a reality.
Apart from educating me on osteopathic medicine, the masters program reassured my desire to become a physician. From hearing a metal heart valve tick in a room to participating in shots and sutures, my fascination grew. One day Dr. Erickson showed me the ECG of a patient. I looked with excitement as I had learned about ECGs weeks before in physiology. I saw there was missing a P-wave which is a characteristic of atrial fibrillation. I tried to understand everything the rest of the week as I was fascinated with the interconnections of medicine. How do A1C tests work? What are the different methods of removing a cysts? My questions never stopped and my desire to learn took over. Shadowing physicians showed me medicine fuels my curiosity and challenges my problem solving skills.
By becoming a doctor I will possess the knowledge and ability to treat the disadvantaged. I will no longer feel helpless as I did when observing the children in Rio or with patients like Tracy. Whether I am a tourist overlooking the slums of Brazil, a timid son following his dad through the hospital, a curious student eager to apply his knowledge or a smiling volunteer eager to brighten someone’s day, my dream of becoming a physician is certain. Until then, I will be found in the emergency room, observing over shoulders, dreaming about the day I will have the privilege to be an integral part in the lives of my patients.