Though I always wanted to be a knowledgeable and caring physician, I could not have imagined the scope of medical science until I had the opportunity to view it through the prism of history, public health, and anthropology with the Medicine & Society minor. During my studies I grew to appreciate the historical and cultural environment surrounding and influencing medicine, as well as its implications for the future of our domestic and international health care systems. Thanks to the guidance of my professors and my advisor, I feel I am better prepared for a career as a physician. In addition to my classroom studies, I have received invaluable work experience in a variety of settings, from the World Health Organization to medical training programs in Africa. These experiences have allowed me to form a network of leading health care professionals, politicians, and scientists with whom I will have the opportunity to work side-by-side to make a difference in a world littered with disease and poverty. I am now working on obtaining a Master of Public Health from the University of Texas School of Public Health with a concentration in global health.
Armed with the knowledge obtained from The Medicine & Society Program, I find myself more familiar with the challenging social aspects of medicine than many of my classmates attending UT Southwestern Medical School where I am seeking my M.D. and an M.B.A. While completing my minor, I became particularly interested in understanding the impact of training on the outcome of physician empathy, as well as the position of the health care provider and his obligation to his patients. Because of the vital role of these concepts in the actual practice of medicine, and because they cannot always be learned in a laboratory, I am grateful for having been exposed to them in The Medicine & Society Program before being submersed in a medical education program. I am now serving as the president of the Class of 2012 and working at the Monday Clinic, which provides health care to the underprivileged community inside the Dallas city limits. I aspire to one day be able to apply some of what I learned in the program to the field of neurological surgery, as well as the politics of medicine, to help reform current health care practices to adequately address underserved areas within the United States.
Before beginning The Medicine & Society minor, I was not sure what path to take after obtaining a bachelor's degree. Through the program I was able to do an internship at the low vision clinic at the University of Houston College of Optometry; my work there, as well as my program coursework, confirmed my decision to go to optometry school. While completing my minor, I did a project that taught me about the leading cause of blindness —refractive error, a disease that is highly prevalent in indigent populations worldwide. I also learned that this and many other eye diseases tied to race, age, and socioeconomic levels can be prevented through primary measures such as eye-health education. As part of my internship, I developed an informative presentation for elementary school students on eye-health and precautionary measures that will help them retain their eyesight. Currently, I am involved in community health coursework and look forward to continuously educating individuals, including myself, on opthalmology.