Question 1, Teaching: It was an enormous honor for me, in my first year of medical school, to work in the advance and implementation of IDEA initiatives, helping to conduct seminars and host lectures about diabetes and hypertension. Since I could not be more devoted to the struggle to mitigate the effects of these diseases, which are widespread in our society, I applaud efforts such as these that go a long way towards helping those who suffer from these diseases to better control them through lifestyle changes. My team and I prepared lectures about primary care and prevention. The best part of this experience was to appreciate better the extensive positive good that we were able to bring about as physicians, especially over the long term.
As an undergraduate student, I felt in a hurry with my classmates, most of us bound for medical school, anxious to get there. Many of my friends act like life will begin with a diploma and being selected for a residency position. My experience with IDEA, however, inspired me to savor each moment and place medical education itself as the top priority, enjoying teaching and learning. Despite the rigors of medical school co-occurring, I put an extremely high value on teaching preventive medicine to those in greatest need of that awareness. I went the extra mile to make the necessary time available. I could not be more dedicated to lifelong education in medicine, especially preventive medicine, and I look forward to teaching and learning to balance my professional life in medicine, which I see as my central human purpose.
Health Care Delivery: I worked as a medical scribe before beginning medical school. This experience also helped me blossom as a professional, a future physician, and a human being. As a scribe, I worked in an ER that served a geriatric population. My position entailed entering and leaving the patient’s room with the physician and transcribing the verbal interaction. I enjoyed greeting and saying goodbye to the patient, sometimes patting their hand. I am especially pleased to have had this early dose of patient contact and learned a great deal about the healthcare delivery systems we have in place and the norm, serving as a basis for future reflection on my chosen profession.
Often, I got the impression that the patient felt lonely, confused, or in some way unattended. I gradually began getting them water, a blanket, etc. and talked to them when an opportunity arose; laughing and simply listening can be most helpful. I never failed or even slowed in my writing, writing top-quality notes as a scribe, but I became more than just a scribe; I was also one person helping another. No physician I worked alongside ever complained about my doing extra things for patients; on the contrary, several of them went out of their way to commend my efforts.
By the time I had to leave my position as a medical scribe to begin medical school, I had fallen in love with geriatric patients, particularly to such an extent that I hope to specialize in gerontology as a medical practitioner after completing medical school. I like to think that I had a small part in many of these patients healing quicker and smiling more often. It became evident that I had a gift and, most of all, an intense desire to care for the elderly.
Rural Volunteer: Another highlight of my medical education thus far was participating in a medical mission to Jamaica. Here, I came to appreciate the many facets of healing as a person or concerned individual, someone other than a physician who also wants very much to help. The populations we served in Jamaica were among the most desperately poor people I have known, or even read about, with no access or support in terms of medical care. Most talked about the hardships they had to endure to get to where we were, in our makeshift clinic with the most limited resources. They looked at me, and the other medical students supporting me labored to help fill me with the keenest joy and most profound sense of destiny. I vowed then to make medical missions to the Developing World a central facet of my medical volunteerism for many decades, the task as if we were also doctors. We did what we could, things like checking glucose levels. The journey and the people we labored to help filled me with the keenest joy and most profound sense of destiny, as I vowed to make medical missions to the Developing World a central facet of my medical volunteerism for many decades to come. Some of these people had walked for hours, lost money, lost jobs, and moved mountains to be there and receive some health care assistance. One experience I could never forget on this trip was seeing a woman die from a heart attack in front of my eyes. This trip further inspired me to a career that never fails to honor the importance of missionary medicine and the personal, human touch of a medical practitioner.
Question 2, Disadvantaged Background: I was born in Cuba into a close-knit family of four, my mom earned US$30 a month as a physician, and my dad drove a taxi for tourists. When my older brother was eleven, and I was seven years old, we escaped to Miami to build a new life for ourselves in freedom, where my brother and I excelled in school. However, space does have a price, and life has always struggled to make ends meet for my family, especially early on. Things became a little easier once my brother finished school and became employed. He quickly found himself working three jobs, always with a smile on his face. If it weren't for him, I would have never had my first laptop for college. The diligence and frugality of all four of us enabled me to concentrate on my education. My medical education is a triumph for my entire family, not only me and my big brother but also my parents, who have worked, pinched, and scraped so that I could become a doctor.
Question 3, Why this Scholarship: Starting with nothing upon our arrival, as new immigrants in a foreign land, we struggled for years to eat and keep a roof over our heads. This is why I am applying for the XXXX scholarship. I no longer receive any help from my older brother since he now has a family of my own, and my mother cannot work as before. The financial challenges faced by my family increased significantly throughout my first two years of medical school due to a severe illness incapacitating my maternal uncle, leaving him in a wheelchair and under the care of my mother.
My uncle has no other family, only us, and we care for him wholeheartedly. He must be showered, fed, and constantly supervised. My mother can’t afford my uncle's home nurse, so she has cared for him since his insurance refused to help pay for his care for more than two years. It has not been easy for my parents to assume that responsibility on an already minimal income. However, we pride ourselves on persevering through tough times and coming together more than ever.
My father works 12 hours a day at age 58 and comes home exhausted each day. My being awarded this much-needed scholarship would represent an enormous ray of sunshine in dark economic times of great struggle for us. It will be most difficult for us to make it as a family while I am in medical school without assistance. Thank you sincerely for considering my application to the XXXX Scholarship for Medical School.
Medical School Scholarship Supplementary Question