Reflections Hear what Slotnick Fellows Have to Say

Ricky J. Thomas

David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Class of 2018

Fellow, 2015

This past summer working at Saban Community Clinic through the Jim Slotnick Fellowship in Medicine has been nothing short of enlightening. Having just finished my first year of medical school and anxious to deploy my newly acquired medical knowledge, I found Saban both refreshing and the perfect place to learn. I was able to interact with numerous physicians, each eager to teach, but more importantly advocate for their patients. I had the oversight of experienced physicians to help guide my clinical acuity and bedside manner, along with medical assistants to help in moments of uncertainty. All of Saban’s clinical staff was cheerful, passionate, and caring, which made working alongside them an absolute pleasure. I now have a model to follow on my road toward becoming a good physician.

Although the staff at Saban was amazing, the patients they serve were my favorite component of the Fellowship. The patients at Saban reminded me why I chose to study medicine. They represented what I have always found most appealing about medicine, the ability to help those who need it the most. The patients served at Saban were from underserved and low-income communities, and were kind, attentive and in need of health care. During my first year of medical school, the power of a patient’s story was continually emphasized in class, but it was the patients at Saban who exemplified how much each side benefits from simply listening. I'm grateful for every patient who shared their story with me, and allowed me to examine them. I have gained tangible skills that will help me better serve my patients, but the intangible experience and knowledge I gained will make me a better physician in working with underserved communities.