Esra Omeroglu '24
I chose to volunteer as an EMT to serve the medically-underserved individuals in my community. It enabled me to witness first-hand the extreme poverty that people are living in. The patients under the stressors of poverty are the ones most likely to get sick and least likely to get the treatment they need. We received calls from people who would otherwise not have sought medical care. It took a little getting used to when our homeless patients got anxious upon seeing “Current Address” on our reports. There were times when the house the patients were living in caused them bodily harm. One particular situation stands out to me. It was of a child who was living in a building owned by a neglectful landlord. The ceiling fell on him, breaking his arm. Sadly, stories like this are all too common.
Working as a Medical Scribe at a level-1 trauma and stroke center, caring for the medically underserved members of the surrounding community, continued to show me the plight of the poor. A patient coming in for a scheduled visit with an open wound, who recently underwent an I&D of an abscess, had some special needs that the doctor was able to address. The patient and her daughter were living in a nearby homeless shelter. She could ill-afford the supplies she needed for wound management. The surgeon, seeing her anguish, filled a bag with supplies for her from his own stock. He even special ordered supplies and had her follow up with him regularly for care. The surgeon reduced the patient’s chances of infection not only by the cleaning of her wound but by treating the whole patient, having relieved her of her anxiety. This is the type of physician I want to be, and they are one of the many types of populations I want to serve. As a medical student of UNE COM, I am confident that I can become a physician of this caliber.