Week 5

This week was another weekly meeting which involved a couple of speakers and a bunch of club updates. It seems as the weeks progress more and more volunteer opportunities are presented. These opportunities range from working with children, working with adults, working at homeless shelters, senior citizen homes, packing food for the needy, working at events for fundraising, and many more. The speakers for this week involved another camp that is involved with medicine. The camp is for children who have parents currently fighting cancer or children who have had parents pass away from cancer. The camp is called camp Kesem. The goal of the camp is to give kids a break from their daily life of dealing with a parent who has or had cancer and letting them feel normal. They all are fighting the same battle so it is easy for them to relate to one another. The camp is for kids within the 6–16 year old age group. I think the camp would be fun to be a part of and am looking into maybe getting involved with it this summer. The other speaker was an anesthesiologist through the University of Minnesota. He talked about a typical day and told us that he has been working in medicine for 20 years plus. He is from Asia and from a family full of doctors. He explained that he at first wanted to go a route that was not connected to medicine but had a moment where he directly helped someone in need and realized that maybe this is what he wanted to do with his life. He explained that medicine is a big commitment and people need to realize this before pursuing a career. An example he gave of this was when he was doing rotations for residency. He was in a neurosurgery rotation and the doctor told the residents that if they were to continue, they would need to have a serious conversation with their partner because half of the people in relationships at the moment would break up or divorce due to the time commitment neurosurgeons have to deal with. He also explained just how challenging learning medicine is and that it takes a big commitment to just study the material. People do not realize that this is their life now and they have to be driven and committed to succeed. He explained that a lot of people he knew who were brilliant people dropped out of medical school because they were just not as committed as they should have been. The doctor explained that it probably worked out in his favor that he had so many family members who were doctors because he then knew exactly what it takes to be a doctor. Seeing how much his parents were around really taught him. Overall I think his message was helpful in explaining just how demanding a job in medicine is. I mentioned in previous weeks that I would be attending a medical conference in New York through AMSA. That happens to be this next weekend, November 14th. After the AMSA group meeting was over, Brandon, the board member in charge of the trip to New York held a sub-meeting and explained to us that we will have a meeting on Tuesday about what we need to do to prepare for the trip. I am excited to listen to all of the speakers and participate in the activities next week. Based on what the board members who have participated in years past, I really think that the conference will hold great value to my experience with medicine. One of the past attendees explained how you get to do hands on activities. Last year he got to learn how to properly put stitches on. There is also going to be a little down time in which the people attending the conference will be able to hang out. I think that this will serve as a great opportunity to make connections and resources, because we are all chasing the same goal of one day becoming a practicing physician. Connections would obviously be beneficial because sometimes knowing people can be better for you than just a name on an application. This past Thursday, November 5th, I officially started the process of becoming a volunteer at the University of Minnesota Hospitals. It was orientation day so not much really happened besides going over what it means to be a volunteer and how to act like a volunteer, and what to expect as a volunteer. Many rules were explained and all of the volunteer positions were explained in depth. To officially start volunteering you have to go through a 3 week process that involves going through a medical screening, learning how the hospitals are laid out, taking a quiz on rules and procedures, and finally interviewing for the position that you desire. I am looking to work either on the nursing station, in which I would be an assistant to the nursing assistant, or with physical therapy in which I would help the physical therapist with anything they need, or working with the pharmacy department. I think that each one will give me a different perspective on medicine. However, I am open to any of these options and will be happy to start volunteering.

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