The biggest challenge that I encountered this academic year was learning to accept failure. I’m sure many of us have heard this before, but in high school I always did well. Thus, I expected to continue doing the same for the most part, but there were several times this year when I experienced personal failure when I didn’t meet my own set goals for grades. At first, I treated this occurrence as something that was not happening because I was in a state of denial but after a couple more grades didn’t meet my expectations I knew I couldn’t ignore that I wasn’t doing well. Knowing that my grades weren’t doing the best, I started to question if I was right for this school, which made me feel like crap. I didn’t love going to class early in the semester but during this disappointing time for me, I totally hated going to class because the idea of going to class would just make me think of failing to meet my expectations. Eventually though, I learned to accept that I’m not perfect and that what I do is enough. Learning from my failures must now be my strategy so that I can follow through with the long term goals I’ve set.
I personally was helped by my family and friends to help get to that point of acceptance of failure. Anyone ever help you reach that point of acceptance of a problem?
Before we left lecture on Thursday, through the combined noise of everyone, Matt suggested to everyone in the room that everyone try to get experience or training in dealing with people recovering or dealing with a substance addiction because graduate level programs don’t do the best job of training students in that area. As an aspiring dentist, it never came to my mind that I could one day be providing care to someone with an addiction problem. Even though the career of dentistry has a focus with the oral health of an individual, I believe that volunteering for a non-profit with a focus on helping people with such addiction problems would be great exposure for myself. Such an experience would teach me where to direct patients if they ever come to me for advice on local recourses to help with their problem. Also, such an experience would help me further understand the problem of substance addiction, which could help me cement my future mission as a health provider; to do everything in my power to help people improve their health.
When interacting with someone who is in the process of recovery from addiction, I would make sure to give them their space and not ask any questions about their struggles that might come off as disrespectful. Also, if the person in question is a close friend then, I’d let them know that I’d be there to talk to them about any struggles they may be facing. Addiction is a very personal issue, so what are some way that you as a student can foster an inclusive environment for people dealing with an addiction or in the process of recovery? Also, what could you do in the future to gain more experience with dealing or helping those dealing with addiction and how could this be beneficial in a future career?
One way I have changed this semester is that I have learned to accept that sometimes things don’t always go as planned. For example, in the letter to myself I mentioned that I was going to push through some difficult classes even if I felt like dropping the class. However, I ended up dropping at least one class, which was disappointing for me at first, but I knew that it was the best decision at the time. In terms of professional change, I would say that I have improved my public speaking skills, for I have had to presented multiple times during this semester. Before I would talk really fast and look at the screen while presenting but I have reduced these tendencies to the point where I seem more confident during presentations.
I am most proud of my success in the class room this semester. My grades aren’t perfect but I believe that the work that I have put in this semester earned me decent grades as well as the respect of my professors. Ultimately, in the letter to my self I stated that I wanted to not put too much focus on my grades because I knew that if I did this I wouldn’t necessarily get a take away from each class. So, when I say that I had success in the classroom, I’m talking about more than grades about also valuable knowledge that I plan on using in future courses.
Even with these successes, I failed at fulfilling my goal to exercise at least three times a week. Even so, I feel like all the walking from class to class could count as some form of exercise. I hope that next semester I can make some time to get some regular exercise in order to get back in shape.
After reading president Obama’s JAMA article I was surprised to read that the percentage of uninsured people in the United States dropped significantly from 16.0% in 2010 to 9.1% in 2015. More than likely, this occurred because of the individual mandate laws that came with the Affordable Care Act. Even though, these laws charge people penalties if they don’t purchase health care, I believe that the laws themselves aren’t as intrusive as they may seem. For example, people who belong to Native American tribes or people whose religion may have conflicts with the healthcare process are excluded from having to purchase healthcare. All in all, one can see the large scale change of the ACA through the statistics presented in the JAMA article.
Currently, my knowledge of politics and of the healthcare system are fairly weak, but I believe that even though Donald Trump is seen as a negative public figure, I will not let that cloud my judgment of his health care polices. Health care in general is a very complex subject but one thing that I have learned about Donald Trump’s healthcare plan is that he states that he will repeal and replace the ACA. Now I’m not against innovation but it seems to me that Mr. Trump is underestimating the complexity of the Healthcare system. The process to get to the affordable care act itself took several decades. I think that scraping the ACA would probably not be the right move. Instead, building on the ACA and working towards a more efficient heal care system would, in my opinion, be more practical for it would not simply trash an act that may not be perfect.
One improvement that I believe should be made is the expansion of Medicaid in every state to assure that low-income Americans are receiving the financial assistance to live healthy lives. Different opinions on that specific idea may exist but in general, I would prefer to know that every state gives its residents the opportunity to receive federal assistance with their health care needs. Secondly, I think that it is prudent that the United State create a program or organization to meet the health care needs for both undocumented adults and their children. This hits home for me, for I grew up knowing many people who were undocumented and as a result did not have the funds or assistance needed to get the health services they needed. This, I know, is a very political issue, however we need to think of the needs of our fellow human beings here in the US. The politics surrounding the issue of illegal immigration should not makes us ignore the pain and suffering that some undocumented families may go through as a result of not having access to some form of health care asistance.