This past academic year, my senior research thesis topic for my chemistry major was on the synthesis of enzyme inhibitors as potential anti-cancer drugs. I had chosen to work on this project because I knew there could be a deeper purpose in the work that I did. I knew that if these compounds that I created really were effective, I could impact people’s lives one day with the medicine they needed. However, being in the lab day in and day out made it hard for me to really grasp what it meant to impact those in physical pain, near to death, expecting their last breath any moment.
That is why I am thankful to have had the opportunity to volunteer with Holisticare Hospice. Working as a hospice volunteer has revealed more of what it means to be in the field of medicine. As a hospice volunteer, I have been able to build relationships with my patients. In particular, I have been able to share even my faith with my current patient Ms. Kate. Having the chance to hear her story and meet her family, I got confused most times after I visited her. I wondered if my visit even helped her because just spending time with her actually humbled me. However, I am always affirmed amidst the confusion because Ms. Kate found the strength in her voice to thank me and express her appreciation. If it wasn’t for Holisticare Hospice, I don’t think I would have received a glimpse of what it means to serve people through the medical field, especially when it comes to interacting with those at end-of-life care.
Volunteering with Hospice has taught me many things and has revealed a lot about myself as well. Hospice has taught me how to recognize and empathize with those who are grieving. Hospice has also shown me that although deaths cannot be calculated, they can be peaceful. Hospice has given me the opportunity to cross paths with incredible people whose lives I have been able to share even if for a couple months.
I now know that not only do I have the academic passion to learn more about medical research as well as have an interest in drug discovery but I also have the capacity to serve people with my time face to face in real time. I have the ability to support those going through pain as I hold their hand. I have the ability to listen, to understand, to reflect with, and advocate for.
This experience with Holisticare Hospice has only encouraged me to continue striving for a career in medicine. It can seem so abstract and far away when I think about pursuing medicine. So I hold on to my goal and dream now in hopes of achieving them at the right time. I know that I will be eager to delve deeper in specializing in a field where I must fully advocate for my patients’ health and care. This past year with Hospice is only a glimpse of my exposure to medicine but it has definitely sparked a flame that I once thought was dimming down. I hope to become a physician that will be earnest in his/her occupation to treat patients with a sincere heart and with thoughtful wisdom.