Though psychologists have debated the roles played by heredity and environment in the development of an individual’s personality, I believe that both have been vital in propelling my interest in the medical field. Being brought up in a family where every generation has a physician or a surgeon at its helm, I grew up hearing medical terms for lullabies. My father had a clinic at home. The thermometer and stethoscope were my toys, although I wanted my hands on the syringe! Hence it was not a surprise for my family when I said that I too wanted to enter the profession of medicine. Ironically, it was one gentleman’s innocent remark that paved the path for my academic interest and career.

After graduating from high school in April 1987, my father threw a graduation party for me and invited some of his friends. Since he was an E.N.T. surgeon, all his friends were in the medical field. One gentleman stopped me and asked, “What are your plans for the future?” I said I want to become a doctor, of course!” He then asked, “Why? Is it because your father and grandfather are doctors?” To that question, I became very defensive. I said, “I want to become a doctor so that I can help people.” My father and grandfather did a lot of charity work to help poor people. It was naturally in my soul and I wanted to make sure he understood that.

The gentleman then said, “If you want to help people you should become a physical therapist rather than a doctor.” I was shocked because I thought that there was no other profession nobler than that of a doctor. I asked him why and I will never forget his answer. He said, “Because doctors just give anatomical continuity, it is the physical therapists who give physiological function. There is no use of anatomical continuity if there is no physiological function.” Little did he know that what he had just said would change the rest of my life. His statements made me think. Moreover, I was confused because I had no clue what physical therapists were and what they did.

I found myself staring at the crossroads of my life. Much to the dismay of my family and myself, I could neither choose a career nor decide my academic path. My father realized that I was confused and since it was a big decision said he would help me. He made it clear that it would be my decision. He then took me to his hospital and introduced me to the Neurologist and the Orthopedic surgeon. I spent four weeks with them. I followed them through the wards, the outpatient clinic, and the post-operative units. I was impressed by the way they cared for their patients. I observed that both the neurologist and the orthopedic surgeon sent their patients to rehab.

Following this, I spent the next eight weeks in the rehab department. I met the patients of the neurologist and the orthopedic surgeon. I fervently observed physical therapists helping patients improve and regain their mobility with or without assistive devices, providing splints and braces and even fitting amputees with artificial limbs. Then, I realized what the gentleman at the party meant.

I have enjoyed being a physical therapist for the past ten years but I never stopped dreaming about the role of a physician. Ever since I heard of the physician assistant program, I have been unable to stop thinking about the possibilities and ways I could better serve people. After all, it would give me the chance to help people on both the spectrum of medical care: anatomical continuity and physiological function. I researched the schools offering physician assistant studies and was impressed with Wayne State University. I attended one of their information seminars and got the opportunity to meet the faculty and a few students. I got the impression that the faculty genuinely cared not only about the academics but also about the professional development of their students. I believe that Wayne State University is committed to producing high-caliber physician assistants to serve the inner-city population and medically underserved communities. This impression was confirmed when I got the golden opportunity of shadowing a physician assistant at Grace Hospital who graduated from Wayne State University.

The motive of the faculty at Wayne State University mirrors my professional goals. I am an energetic, hardworking, and conscientious professional with high ethical standards. My strongest asset is that I am an excellent team player. I am a good student and a goal-oriented professional. I am highly confident that if given the opportunity, I will be a great asset to any physician. My professional goals include a strong commitment to serving the medically underserved community and the elderly population. I think it is the best homage I could ever pay to a generation that has helped pave a bright future for my generation.

 

 

Leave a Reply