David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Class of 2018
Just as medical school has introduced me to the science of medicine, the Slotnick Fellowship at Saban Community Clinic introduced me to the art. I was privileged to work with providers who are competent, compassionate, and committed to the Clinic’s mission. They are great teachers who patiently taught me not only about diseases and drugs, but also about how to connect, question, listen, analyze, advocate, educate and empathize. I was also humbled by the opportunity to learn from the Clinic’s patients. Their willingness to share their stories with me and trust me to help improve their health allowed me to develop a deeper understanding of the importance of caring for people (in all their beautiful, complex, often quirky glory!), rather than patients represented by problem lists and lab values. Finally, it was eye-opening to work in a clinic that is so fiercely committed to social justice. I learned much about the realities and rewards of working on the frontlines and the experience strengthened my belief that health care is a right, rather than a privilege, yet unrealized in America. Perhaps Jim Slotnick’s words in A Short Life most simply summarize my experience as a Slotnick Fellow: “I would leave [the clinic] with a feeling of, ‘yeah, this is what I want to do with my life!’” I am grateful to the Slotnick Fellowship for being a great source of inspiration, exploration, and confirmation for my career goals, and hope to one day be a physician who embodies the values of the Fellowship.