This past month was not very fun. Had problems with my car, my hardrive failed, and I am on the verge of bankcrupcy thanks to infinite bills and an excruciating amount of money owed to student loans each month. To be honest, I would probably not make it through this year of service without the support of my family. Makes me wonder how many others out there may not have that support, yet are in the same predicament.
Ironically, it’s moments like these that make me realize just how grateful I am to be in this service position. There are people struggling everyday just to address their most basic needs and provide for their families. Now here I am, claiming that my life has “fallen apart” because my hardrive failed, my car died, and I can barely pay my rent/bills. It’s this stress that tests your character and illuminates what you value the most – that makes me sick to think that I’ve depended so much on such petty things. Well okay, I guess a place to call home would probably not be considered ‘petty’, but the others can be considered luxuries.
Enough personal blabbing. I must admit that I’ve never felt stronger in my VISTA work, despite the personal struggles. I finally understand my VAD and my project because I finally understand the people that I am serving. I don’t just understand them, I truly admire and respect them. I have had the pleasure of immersing myself in their cultures, their communities, their way of life. That’s surely been the most rewarding aspect of my year so far, and it has changed my perspective on the world and the kind of physician I hope to be in the future. As an innately service-oriented profession, medicine was founded upon (and should continue to be driven by) the patient’s needs, beliefs, and best interests. How could you serve your patient to the best of your ability if you are not familiar with those needs, beliefs, and best interests?
It would be interesting to hear how anyone else’s VISTA experience has influenced their future endeavors…