Motherhood is a major motivating factor in my pursuit of medicine and my ideals for serving patients and their families.
A Tribute to the Apple of My Eye
Kiss Ella’s forehead
“Mommy will come pick you up in two months.”
Watch her cry with her arms outstretched for me
Passion for learning
Resolve to challenge and develop myself into
His doctor, her doctor
The doctor of a little girl
Precious and extraordinary in her mother’s eyes
The doctor of a grandmother
Singularly amazing and unconditionally loving to her grandchild
The doctor of a father
Who may have to kiss his little girl good-bye
I know why I forego tucking Ella in for many nights
I know why I kissed Ella good-bye
I wrote this poem during my first week of medical school, in August of 2010. It explains my motivation for pursuing medicine and my ideals for serving patients and their families. Mini Wise Money (aka Ella), my then 3-year-old daughter, is the most precious person in my life. When she catches the flu, I treat her throughout the night regardless of major exams I have the next day. A couple times I have missed class to take her to the doctor. Depending on the pediatrician, Ella may scream and kick to resist the medical examination or she may fully oblige. As I observe various doctoring styles, I commit myself to providing effective and empathetic medical care as a student physician. To best serve the community, I extend my innate drive to nurture Ella to all patient encounters.
At the Student Run Health Clinic in Vallejo, CA, I work with colleagues of various disciplines to improve the health of medically under-served population. Because SRHC is free to the community, I embrace the luxury of spending as much time with each patient as is needed. I conduct a thorough patient history and physical exam. Under the supervision of Dr. Lopes, a board certified physician, I perform osteopathic manipulative treatment (OMT) on patients and provide health education.
For instance, I treated an elderly man who had recently undergone a prostatectomy, which my grandfather had also gone through. It was natural to partner and communicate with him like I would with my grandfather. He shared much personal and medical information; I felt privileged to receive his whole-hearted trust. I performed several osteopathic manipulative treatment (OMT) techniques, which ameliorated his post-operative pain and swelling. Seeing his frown soften into a smile with OMT reminded me of massaging grandpa’s forehead as a child. While my grandfather lived 400 miles away, I was grateful to treat and connect with a patient like him. He said that his visit was the most thorough and empathetic medical care he had received in the last four decades. Then, he came to his follow up appointment and brought his wife as a new patient.
Volunteering at SRHC refreshes and grounds me. When my neck and shoulder ache from nine hours of dense clinical science lectures as a first- and second-year medical student, I think of the little children like Ella and the elderly like my grandfather. My desire to improve their health continually expands my appetite for medical skills and knowledge. Community service will always be integral to my personal fulfillment and professional success.
I wrote the above in 2012 when I was applying for a leadership position at the SRHC (Student Run Health Clinic) at Touro University College of Medicine in California. Four years have flown by, I feel the same about the apple of my eye and about choosing medicine to serve others.
• How do you balance motherhood(parenthood) with medicine?
• What are your passions in life? Do you sometimes feel pushed and pulled in many ways?
• What are the most important lessons you've learned from the Apple of your eye?