Elizabeth Rumi - 2020
A trip to my mother’s home country of Peru sparked my fascination with the human body and biological science. She came to the United States as the first member of her family to emigrate to a better life. I was 10 years old when I embarked on my first trip to Peru. Traveling there, fueled a curiosity about the biological sciences that has followed me throughout my education. I started college hungry for knowledge and excited for a path that would eventually lead to medical school.
Beyond academics, my life experiences have allowed me to serve my community. I volunteered at the National Centers for Children and Families as a mentor and tutor for adolescents living in foster care and independent living programs. I was able to give my experiences a purpose, as I relayed the message that it is never too late to make a positive change. Sharing my academic experiences with these students allowed me to gain the kids’ trust, making them more receptive during our sessions. This experience instilled in me a desire to continue working with disadvantaged communities. My passion for helping others was reinforced by my interaction with patients in rehabilitation services. Working in a therapeutic setting taught me the intricacies of patient care on both a clinical and emotional level. Instructing and guiding patients through their exercises, I practiced compassion and encouragement.
Witnessing the profound effects of improving others’ lives by alleviating ailments only deepened my interest in medicine. My position at Dr. Khalid’s office gave me hands-on clinical experience. I performed tests on patients like EKGs and neural scans, in addition to preparing patients for the doctor by taking vitals and noting chief complaints. Performing diagnostic tests on patients while explaining and clarifying each test’s purpose further cemented my desire for a career in medicine. The responsibility that doctors have to their patients attracted me to becoming a physician.
As a bilingual Hispanic female, I wanted to contribute to my community by offering my cultural perspective and by alleviating some of the health disparities I have witnessed and personally experienced. Translating for therapists and physicians showed me how fundamental communication is between health care provider and patient, as well as the negative impact linguistic or cultural misunderstandings can have on the quality of care.
Each chapter of my life has made me stronger, equipping me with maturity, perseverance, patience, humility, and sympathy. I hope to use these experiences to better serve and improve the health and wellbeing of others.
My experiences at HUCM have allowed me to confirm my desire to work as a primary care physician. Being the center of care for a patient while educating them and guiding them through all medical needs has always been a goal of mine. As a family medicine physician, I will be able to do just that while being able to work in a variety of settings helping patients in different capacities.
My ultimate goal is to work in a setting reminiscent of the area I grew up in, a beautifully diverse and underserved area where I can connect with each of my patients as I care for them as their PCP.