How has this experience influenced your future career goals?
This experience has been very enlightening for me in determining my future career goals. Prior to the trip I was second guessing whether or not I wanted to actually go into human medicine and was considering doing veterinary medicine or even dentistry. I have been working in a hospital for a while previous to the trip and it helped me see what it would be like in the future and I think my work in the emergency department made me conclude that I did not want to go into any type of emergency medicine. Because of that experience I began second guessing if I even wanted to go into the medical field at all. However, once I started working in the children’s department I realized that I still did want to stick with medicine. Before going on the trip I worried that I would realize I did not want to do medicine after all, but the experience completely proved me wrong. When interacting with patients in Belize I found that I was really interested in hearing what was wrong with them, taking vitals, and trying to figure out some sort of diagnosis in my head. When we would go and talk to the doctors I would be almost excited to hear exactly what was wrong and then hear what they thought would be the best route of diagnosis. The expertise of the doctors was truly incredible and it made me realize that I want to do this sort of thing just like them. Many of the doctors said that one big limitation in Belize healthcare is that there is a lack of trained medical professionals, leaving there to be a surplus of people who need help and not enough people to provide appropriate care. This made me realize the importance of the work we were doing as well as the necessity it was to have more trained medical professionals that would be able to assist, especially in developing nations like Belize.
One thing that I really loved during the trip was interacting with children during the clinics. I have, for as long as I can remember, wanted to work in pediatrics. This trip especially confirmed that and helped me imagine what it would be like in the future to work in pediatrics. At this point however I am still unsure of whether I want to go to medical school or PA school because both seem like great options, but I can’t tell which one would better suit me at this point. In a few weeks I will start a CNA class and I hope that will help even further clarify what I want to do in the future. Additionally, I hope to get shadowing and clinical opportunities in a variety of fields so that I can see how the medical experience differs in America. Overall, I feel very blessed and grateful that I was able to go on this trip because it helped me see the importance of the medical field and the necessity to help others all over the world through this work.