Shama Patel

Shama Patel ’22

Osteopathic Medicine (D.O.)

I often think about the first time I considered a career in medicine — a dream influenced by trips to my family’s village in India. I reminisce about the beauty I saw there, beyond the scenic places and the historical monuments, in the people. I discovered that most of my family members had not seen a doctor in years due to the lack of affordability. The prevalence of such obstacles to quality health care disturbed me. The ultimate difference between them and myself was that I live in a country which has safety-nets and medical systems in place to ensure accessible care. My grandmother had a heart attack in India — they were unable to treat her at the village hospital due to the lack of equipment. Though I was extremely saddened by the loss, I diligently worked towards a medical degree to create the type of change that is needed in developing areas. There was a stark difference between my lifestyle and my extended family’s. I recognize that as a future doctor, I will hold the reins to improving the delivery of health care.

Fast forward to 2019 and I am a med student at UNE COM. One thing I really admire about UNE COM is that they really emphasize doctor-patient communication in education. They teach you how to best phrase questions, bring up potentially awkward topics with your patient, and to do physical exams in a way that makes your patient feel as comfortable as they can be. Until the day I hang up my white coat, I am confident that my future career will provide me a lifetime of fulfillment, challenge, charity, and growth.