Reflections Hear what Slotnick Fellows Have to Say

Mikaela Kelly

David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Class of 2020
Fellow, 2016

My experience working at Saban Community Clinic provided me with more than I could have ever anticipated. Initially, I was drawn to this opportunity because I am passionate about working within and advocating for underserved communities. Additionally, as a first year medical student at UCLA, we do not have a great deal of clinical exposure. During our initial year, amongst the lectures, labs, books, and exams, at times I felt myself becoming disconnected from the reason I chose to embark upon this path. 

However, the summer as a Slotnick Fellow was one that was truly meaningful, in that it reignited that flame I entered medical school with. I am eager to begin second year, not only re-energized, but also confident. Confident in my ability to navigate through patient encounters, advocate on their behalf, communicate their needs to the attending physicians, and jointly develop a plan in order to improve their quality of life and health outcomes. I now feel like I am a part of a supportive community of physicians and providers who are like-minded in their passion and dedication to providing truly compassionate care and making a tangible impact in the lives of their patients. As a Fellow , I have also obtained skills that many at my stage of training have not had the opportunity to garner exposure to. As part of my quality improvement program, I was able to learn how to do a well woman's exam, a skill that is truly valuable to me as someone who is interested in women's health. I was also able to gain exposure to additional elements of health care and wellness. I had the opportunity to attend behavioral health wellness groups, all with a different focus: mindfulness, a women's support group, and a spanish-speaking women's group for survivors of trauma, sexual assault, and domestic violence. This provided me with the ability to see patients experiences through a different lens, and also with first-hand knowledge of how these groups operate, so that I am better able to communicate and recommend such services to my future patients.

All of this being said, the most meaningful element of this experience was working with patients, day in and day out, hearing their stories, and connecting with them. The opportunity to fully embrace their narrative was truly humbling and inspiring, one that I will carry with me this coming year and beyond. 

I want to express my gratitude to Saban Community Clinic staff for welcoming, educating, and mentoring me as a Slotnick Fellow. This summer was a true gift.