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Hometown: Houston, Texas
Major: BA in Medical Humanities
Graduated: May 2012
There are no other universities that offer this program, and I couldn't see myself growing intellectually or spiritually at a university without this major. The courses I have taken have taught me things that I couldn't have learned anywhere else. These classes force you to think outside the norm, to learn about cultures outside of your own, and to really connect with people who depend on you.
I've had to ask myself some very difficult questions. For example, "Am I in this to cure or am in this to care?" At the beginning of my freshman year, I would have said "I want to be a doctor because I want to help people." Fast forward almost four years later and I've realized that medicine will change my life and not just the lives of my patients. I've realized that medicine has chosen me more than I have chosen medicine.
Dr. Michael Attas has been one of my greatest mentors. He is a physician of many gifts, and one of his greatest contributions to medicine and his patients is his ability to know when to stop and spend a little extra time with someone. The power to sense a person's need and distress, to understand their problems and fears, to me at least, is the mark of an excellent physician; it is a quality that I look for when searching for physicians that I want to treat me. And it is a quality that I want to carry with me as I become a physician.
The Medical Humanities Program has helped me to learn extremely important lessons about myself. I've learned how my faith shapes me not only as a person but also as a physician. It was through classes such as Christianity and Health Care, Death and Dying, Philosophy of Science, and Philosophical and Literary Perspectives on Medicine that I discovered more about the art of medicine. Each time I take a new course in this major, I discover new things about myself and new things about the health care profession. It is truly a different playing field than the sciences, but I do believe it is the most important part of what I want to do.
Next year, I will be studying in Scotland on a Fulbright Scholarship. I will be completing a master's degree in health sciences and public health research. After my time in Europe, I'll be attending medical school.