After reflecting upon my freshman year, I can definitely say that I not only learned an immense amount of valuable information, but I also grew as an individual. A lot of change has occurred in my life since the beginning of first semester, and I learned to accept this change. If I could go back in time to the beginning of my freshman year, I would tell myself that academics do not make or break you at this university. A 4.0 GPA is not required to get into a graduate school. The college panel from first semester was extremely helpful to me. All the students had challenges with some classes but were able to still be successful. I remember during the beginning of first semester, I was constantly just sitting at my desk trying to understand calculus. When I look back now, I laugh about how strict I was on myself to get good grades. Although academics are still a priority to me, they no longer consume my entire life. I learned that breaks are needed in life, and that grades do not define your success. There are so many great opportunities at this university outside of academics, and I think being involved in various organizations helped me find balance in my life. Spending time with friends is also an important aspect of life that I often overlooked. Being spontaneous is fun to do every now and then. This university offers plenty of unique experiences, and I feel the need to take advantage of them while I am here.
The topic of whether a health professional should be able to refuse to provide medical treatments or procedures according to the patient’s wishes is very controversial. Most of the time, I would say no, a health professional should not withhold treatments or procedures from a patient. One of the major ethical rules of a health professional is to respect patient autonomy. This means that patients possess the right to make their own decisions about what will happen to their body. Surgeons also have a fiduciary responsibility, in which the patients place their trust in their hands. They have a responsibility to care for patients, in which if something can be done to cure them, then it must be done.
However, Dr. Vercler mentioned a situation in class that seems to blur the line of ethics. A 95-year-old man had a 100% chance of dying without surgery and with surgery only a 3% chance of survival. His family begs the surgeon to do the surgery because they believe that he is a fighter and would rather die in the operating room than not trying anything at all. This is a controversial scenario. It may seem unethical to refuse to go through with the surgery, but the patient is unable to state what he wants, and the family is only telling the surgeon what they think he would want. Either way, the patient has an extremely large probability of not surviving, especially considering his old age, so it may be best to not do the surgery and allow the patient to live comfortably during the end of his life. This also gives the family the opportunity to say proper goodbyes.
Overall, a major component to maintaining ethics in the health field is honoring patient autonomy. However, there are situations in which the ethical choice is not so clear, and it may be better for the health professional to make the decision for the patient.
I was extremely nervous about attending this university at the beginning of the semester. I am not a very outgoing individual, and I was the only person from my school going here. Coming into such a large university without knowing anyone was a scary feeling. I feared that I would be alone the entire semester. However, HSSP definitely helped me overcome this fear. Being in such a tight-knit community with people who I see daily and have similar interests as me allowed me to be more open about myself and build great friendships. I was so happy that I was able to create friendships with people who accepted me for who I was. After this semester, I realized that I should not have to change my personality to try and fit in. Everyone is different, and diversity should be embraced. I may be introverted, but I now know that this is okay. I do not have to be an extrovert to make friends. Basically, I learned that I should not be apologetic for who I am.
Professionally, I learned that to succeed in the health system, teamwork and clear communication is necessary. I witnessed this through my observations of a nurse and physician assistant, and the speaker in class stressed the importance as well. Furthermore, it is necessary to be aware of the disparities that exist in healthcare and to be cautious with word choice. For some people it may seem trivial, but to others it may mean life or death. Also, I discovered that asking questions does not make me seem dumb, but instead exhibits my interest in the subject and shows my desire to learn more.
I am proud to simply be a student at this great university. In my letter I expressed fear in my abilities to manage the classes here. I was afraid that I would just be the less than average student since so many intelligent individuals go here. However, I learned that I do not need to compare myself to others, and that it is important to have confidence in myself. When I do this, I perform better academically. However, there were times where I was extremely stressed this semester, and these occurrences could have been avoided with better time management and less procrastination. This university offers so many great opportunities that I got a little caught up in them and forgot that my main focus should be on school. Next semester I will be sure to remain focused on my academics while still having fun and taking breaks when necessary.
1.What do you think your purpose is? How will you find it if you don’t know? How will you maintain or change it if you do know?
Although I do not know the exact path that I am meant to travel, I believe that my broad purpose in life is to help others. This is why I am so drawn to the health care industry; it is all about curing others and assisting them to the best of our ability. For me, there is no greater joy than being the reason that someone smiles, and this is what drives me to maintain my purpose. I know it is impossible to bring happiness to everyone’s life in this huge world, especially one filled with so much despair, but every person that I affect positively will remind me of the reason that I am here and will motivate me to continue my purpose.
2.What excuses do you use in your life? How can you combat against these excuses and continue to push forward toward your passion?
I frequently tell myself that I do not have enough time to put in all the hard work that is required to succeed, but in reality I spend lots of time on unnecessary activities. I put aside my responsibilities for pastimes that I find enjoyable, but they are not my passion. To combat against these excuses, I have to remind myself about my purpose in life and that my passion is what I need to fulfill that purpose.
3.What do you think Larry means when he finishes his talk with the word “unless?”
My interpretation of the word “unless” is that it is never too late to chase our passion again. If a certain career is truly your passion, nothing should stop you from reaching it, even if there was a large break along the way.
My question for everyone is how do you know when you have found your passion in life, and is it possible to have multiple passions?