Having the power to aid people in their suffering, to alleviate pain and put a smile on a terminal patient’s face are powers granted to the special, select few, who have devoted themselves and their lives altruistically to putting the needs of others before their own. It is a vocation of inestimable and time-consuming challenges, and simultaneously, one of empathy and selfless aid. I must admit that before tragedy struck my life and in his dying moments, my father proved he would always be my guiding star, I was not certain if I possessed all the necessary traits one requires to be a good physician. However, now I am more certain than ever of this fact.
Having passed step 2 Exam of Clinical Knowledge of United States Medical Licensing Exam in March 2012, I am optimistic that I will pass step 3 by the end of December. In addition to this, my professional skills were sharpened during the time I volunteered in Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn, in Department of Pediatrics and Internal Medicine. This time proved to be a time of precious erudition, as I got an exceedingly valuable insight into the fundamental skills essential for this altruistic calling. I was cognizant of the demands of medical field, but being able to experience this has only made my dedication stronger.
Still, there was a personal trial I had to go through, in order to obtain this fully enthusiastic commitment. There exists an outsized gap in my edification, starting in 1999 and ending in 2004. As it happened, I was afflicted with having second thoughts about my professional choices in life. Concurrently, my father got severely ill. During this time, we traveled along the distance of USA – Bangladesh, in hopes that his renal cell carcinoma was curable. This was the most tragic occurrence that happened in my life. After days and nights filled with soreness and heartache, he lost his battle in 2002. After this, I somehow had the heart-breaking feeling that if I were a doctor, if I had the crucial knowledge about his illness, I might have been able to at least make his last days less excruciating. This is exactly why I chose family medicine. Because I know the powerless feeling of having someone you deeply care for be committed to hospital with a severe illness. I want to make sure that this person gets the best care possible, because a doctor not only has his patients to take care of, but his patient’s family as well.
In addition to this, being a mother is another aspect of my life that will make me a perfect family physician. Like any other mother, the thought of my son being ill chills me to my very bones, and I know that I would want the best medical care possible or him. I know exactly how these people feel having to bring their beloved ones to the hospital, and thus, I know the skills as well as emotions that are necessary in order to help them as best as possible.
I have just started volunteering in family medicine department of Brooklyn Hospital Center, in addition to having been volunteering in a very busy family practice facility, under the supervision of a family physician, for some months now. I have been assisting him in triage and checking the vitals of patients, such as measuring blood pressure, pulse, their height, weight, vision and hearing, doing ECG, phlebotomy, and moreover, counseling them about prevention or answering any other questions they might have. Also, my medical interpreter course taken in Maimonides Hospital proved to be of great use, as my fluency in Bengali, Hindi and Urdu, besides English, helped me serve the diverse neighborhood that comes to this facility.
Prevention is always better than curing. Presently, I am also working in a pharmacy, in an orthodox Jewish neighborhood, and I offer not only the information the patients want to hear, but also about side-effects of certain drugs. Patients have the right to know exactly what is going on, how ill they are and how effective the drug they are taking is. Thus, I cannot wait to start this family medicine residency program, in hopes that I will be exactly the kind of doctor not only the hospital needs, but the patients as well.