Hometown: Evergreen, Colorado
Degree/Major: BS in Biochemistry
Minor: Medical Humanities & Religion
Graduated: May 2013
Attending Baylor College of Medicine
I learned of the Medical Humanities program while searching the Baylor website during my senior year of high school. I had no idea then how grateful I would be for the opportunity to participate in this program. Many schools can teach good science but few challenge students to acknowledge the other crucial facets of medicine.
Exploring and discussing concepts such as the meaning of life, the intricacies of patient interaction, the experience of death, and the challenges of life as a physician – as a freshman – provided a critical introduction to the field of medicine. I was encouraged to question early on whether or not this was the path I wanted to pursue in life, to move beyond the generic “I want to help people and I like science” and holistically evaluate myself and evaluate the reality of medicine. Any answers I found to this question were more complete because I was presented with the resources to explore medicine from every angle. The class opened my eyes to the physician’s struggle to continually view patients as people, not as diseased bodies – and to the crucial necessity of acknowledging the humanity of all patients.
When modern medicine can no longer cure, the physician may still heal, because healing depends on more than science – it depends on human connection. During the semester, my family experienced the death of my grandfather and I was able to connect class discussions on the experience of the patient (and the patient’s family) with occurrences in my own life.
I am blessed to have been encouraged so early on in my undergraduate career to explore the human side of medicine. It set the tone for continued self-reflection, investigation and critical thinking. I now have a foundation for my ambition and a realistic expectation of the joys and the challenges that await me.