If I could go back to the beginning of the year, I’d tell myself that everything will work out in the end, but I’d also give myself some tips. I would prioritize my time better when studying for exams, and study for shorter periods of time and take more breaks. I learned the hard way that things stick better in my head when I study in small chunks than when I try to cram for six straight hours before a test. I would also devote more time to classes I assumed would be easy. I have received some poor grades in classes that I should have done better in because I did not devote enough time to them. But most of all, I’d tell myself to have more fun and do more things that weren’t related to class. I ended up burning myself out during first semester (which I also think is why I ended up with mono), and my grades do not reflect the effort that I put into my classes. Wearing myself out wasn’t worth it. Next semester, now that I have a better idea of how to prepare for my classes, I’m going to manage my time better, and hopefully I will be more satisfied with the results I produce in the future.
Sometimes, people who think they are doing the right thing can still end up causing harm to those they are trying to help. I believe this happens because people become set in their ways. I found it hard to imagine how anyone could become so blind to the fact that they are hurting others until I realized it’s the same line of thinking that other scientific researchers can have. For example, scientists can become very attached to a hypothesis they are testing. If later, it is discovered that the hypothesis is incorrect and needs to be modified, the scientist could be hesitant to change it and start over because of this attachment. People want to hold on to their initial ideas for as long as possible because of our desire to be correct and because we don’t want to change. In some extreme cases, this mentality can cause larger problems, such as changing test results to align with predictions. This same mentality can affect people in all professions.
In my future career, regardless of what it is, I will need to remain as open to change as possible. This can be a matter of life or death for medical professionals, but it can also pertain to other careers. As a doctor, sometimes things will go wrong and it will be necessary to deviate from the original plan. This must be done without hesitation to minimize risks. Doctors need to be ready for everything. And they must be open to all forms of change. The patient always must come before your ego. First, do no harm.
I believe it’s important we discuss all past research, no matter how unethical it may be. We need to educate ourselves on the past and learn from our mistakes so we don’t make the same ones in the future. No matter your profession, all of us must know that it is okay, and sometimes necessary, to change our ideas.
This semester has been interesting. From snowball fights at 1 AM to breaking my rib and being immobilized, I’ve had a first semester full of ups and downs. Life here at the University of Michigan was much easier to adjust to than I thought it would be. I hadn’t ever been away from home for an extended period before, and because of this, I was obviously worried about transitioning into college life. The only thing I was excited about was HSSP. I’d heard good things about the program and I knew that it would make the university feel smaller, which is exactly what I wanted. After welcome week and the first week of classes, I felt right at home. I was comfortable with my new peers and still had many high school friends I saw daily. I loved the balance of my new HSSP friends and those I had already known my whole life.
Academically, it was a slightly different story. I knew college would be hard, and I never expected to get straight A’s, but I don’t think I ever fully processed just how ridiculously smart everyone here would be. For example, biology is one of my favorite subjects. I loved it in high school and always did well. As a result of this, I was pretty surprised when I got my first biology exam back and saw that I scored significantly below average. From that point on I have been adjusting how I prepare for exams and it has generally worked out better for me. I’m not happy with my performance from first semester, but there definitely were some positive lessons learned along the way.
When I opened my letter, I was generally satisfied that I had met my goals I had set for myself at the beginning of the semester. I had told myself to make friends and to not give up. I told myself it wouldn’t be as hard to adjust to college life as I thought it would be. These goals I had set for myself have been met. The only thing I want to improve upon in the future will be to do better academically. I think I know how to do this now, and I’m looking forward to a fresh start next semester.
I learned many new things from Thursday’s lecture, but the most surprising thing I learned was about how unjustly LBGTQ individuals were treated in hospitals and medical practices. This general theme also relates back to the lecture pre-reading. I am mostly referring to the NPR article “In The Hospital, There’s No Such Thing As A Lesbian Knee.” In the article, there are many stories of LGBTQ people who faced injustice and difficulties when attempting to get help from medical institutions. A story which hit me the hardest was an anecdote about how a lesbian woman wasn’t granted permission to enter her dying partner’s hospital room. Stories like this and also ones about how LGBTQ people are not always granted the organs they need for survival because of their lifestyle or about how they are misdiagnosed at a higher rate than non-LGBTQ people are a definite cause for concern.
I believe there are currently so many problems in the LGBTQ healthcare field because of the way some people still view LGBTQ people in our society. Not everyone is educated on what being a part of the LGBTQ community means, and unfortunately, this can influence medical professionals as well as everyone else. I believe and hope this problem is getting better, as new doctors take over for older ones the mindset towards LGBTQ people will become more accepting and fair. My question to pose is this: what additional reasons do you believe are part of why LGBTQ individuals are sometimes mistreated now, and what can we do to change this in the future?