David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Class of 2019
From life experiences, I have seen the complex obstacles patients face in receiving health care, but being a Jim Slotnick Fellow at Saban Community Clinic this summer has allowed me to explore what my role as a physician will be in reducing these barriers. In clinic, I started translating the hours in the lecture hall and the library to patients. The clinicians at Saban were phenomenal teachers by showing me not only how to implement the medical sciences, but also how to deliver care that is compassionate and conscious of the social determinants of health.
As a Fellow, I enjoyed being exposed to the multifaceted care that the patients at the Clinic are provided. Working with the behavioral health team grounded me, and listening to patients’ stories in group therapy reminded me that behind every 15-minute clinic visit is a life worth of history and context. The summer made me really reflect on what it means to be a physician. I learned that there are days when I will be tired, days when clinic is running behind, and days when I cannot seem to do enough. But through this all, most pivotally, I have learned to search for ways to remind myself to take a deep breath, and to never stop being curious about the person behind the lab results. This humanity should continue to be the essence and drive behind my practice. For this, I thank the clinicians at Saban for teaching me how to maintain a balance between science and society, and Jim Slotnick whose words have inspired me to continue striving to be an advocate. Because of my experience at Saban, I know I will be able to step into my third year clerkships confident in my abilities, and trained to be a voice for those whose voices are often lost in the healthcare system.
I will carry the lessons I have learned as a Slotnick Fellow this summer throughout the rest of my career.