If I could go back in time to the beginning of my freshman year and have a conversation with myself, what would I say? The most significant thing I can think of is to tell myself to relax. I would reassure myself that the anxiety and stress I have is for nothing, because it will all work out. I was stressed about everything one could imagine.
Most importantly, I was stressed about grades. I had never gotten a ‘B’ in my life, but now I was surrounded by people at my academic caliber. I was competing with the victors and the best and had this pressure that I still had to get the highest grades in the class and outperform everyone else. I wish I could travel back and tell myself how impossible of a goal that is, and to stop focusing on everyone else and just focus on doing my best. I would tell myself that I won’t get perfect grades, but that that’s okay. What’s important is the learning experience. I still struggle with that notion, but I’ve gotten a lot better.
The second worry I had was making friends. I’m not very social and am quiet around new people. I had very few friends for the first couple years of high school. It wasn’t until junior and senior year that I came out of my shell because I felt comfortable with my environment. I was scared that being put in a new environment with new people that had differing views would throw me back into that antisocial state all over again. I would go back in time and tell myself that that doesn’t happen. I would assure myself that HSSP is a welcoming community, and I open up and become social early in the year. I do make friends, and end up enjoying my first year.
A surgeon giving a medical procedure is like a physician prescribing medicine in some ways. When a patient goes to a physician feeling ill, the physician prescribes the best medicine for the problem. Similarly, surgeons will perform the surgery with the highest chance of helping the patient.
The difference between the two arises in cases when the chance of surviving with the treatment is very low, but even lower without treatment. When it comes to simply prescribing medicine, it should be given anyway. However, with a long, strenuous surgery the question is not that simple. The surgeon puts a lot of care and effort into a surgery, so to know that all that will probably be for nothing before the surgery even begins may make the surgeon object to performing it.
The reason for the objection is invalid, and they should have to do the surgery anyway as long as the patient requests it. It is a surgeon’s job to serve their patient; laziness, fatigue, or a low success rate are not good reasons to give up on the patient if they have not given up on themselves yet. Even if the surgery has the chance of causing death earlier, the patient’s request should be respected. The only case where the surgeon should have a right to ignore the patient’s request is if the surgery will only cause harm with no chance of benefits.
Over the course of the semester, I have changed tremendously. Most of the personal changes that occurred were due to being forced to adapt to a new environment without the support system that family or long-time friends provide. The largest change is that I have become better at organizing my time. I do not put things off as much as I did in high school, a vital skill to have in these final few weeks. I also have become more social over the course of the semester, something I did not have to do in high school because I had my family and close friends always around me. This spur of extroversion has allowed me to meet a very diverse group of people during my time here. These interactions have changed many of my views, making me a more tolerant, less ignorant person.
Professionally, my career path has changed several times already. Being around so many pre-med students convinced me that I should leave my pharmacy track and become a doctor. However, observing both a pharmacist and a physician made me switch back to pharmacy, as that occupation resonated more with me. I have also switched my major from Biochemistry to Biology to BCN to Computer Science. It is a constantly morphing area of my life and probably will be for some time.
In my letter, I remind my current self to not put so much emphasis on little “setbacks” in my college career; instead, just focus on doing the best I can. I didn’t succeed at doing that this semester. I was filled with an unsustainable amount of anxiety, brought on by negative academic and social occurrences. I must change that for next semester. I need to stop focusing on the failures and, instead, focus on the small, daily victories.
The biggest challenges our nation faces in improving our healthcare system is disunity in our government. There are countless examples of healthcare bills not passing because Congress disagreed or the president vetoed the bill. The process of improving and updating healthcare laws is slow and tedious, with extremely similar bills failing multiple times before passing.
I believe the biggest failure of the reform was Truman’s failure to pass a national insurance program. A large reason for the failure was the American Medical Association’s constant attacks on his plan. Their creation of propaganda against the program, presenting it as “socialized medicine”, turned public opinion against the bill. Nothing similar to it would get passed for another twenty years with Johnson’s administration. It would have revolutionized the healthcare system years ahead of schedule, insuring millions.
The most significant success is the most recent passing of the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare. It brought together the work of decades of failed reforms. It is so influential because it helped insure the poor by significantly expanding Medicaid. It also raises the standards of healthcare coverage, providing additional preventive care services and keeping health professionals better in check.
As a question for commenter to ponder: what do you think is the future of U.S. healthcare reform, and how long do you think it would take to get implemented?