Spotlight: Alyssa Kahl

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Name: Alyssa Kahl
Major: Human Biology
HCMP Role: Public Relations Coordinator
Classification: Junior

Describe a shadowing experience that has impacted you the most. 
Unlike many of the popular shadowing experiences where you see flashy surgeries or procedures, I found I was most impacted when shadowing an internist in a clinical setting. It was a typical day, checking in on all her regular patients and ordering blood work to keep up with their primary care. This particular physician had a great relationship with all her patients and the physician, patient, and myself began to have a discussion on the role of a physician when they suspect a patient undergoing domestic abuse. The physician I was shadowing began to talk of her experiences with patients in the past who showed both physical and emotional signs of domestic abuse. It was then that I realized that a physician’s role goes far beyond just taking care of the medically relevant aspects of their patient’s lives. They are a trusted confidant for many people who have nowhere else to turn. As I continue to pursue a career in medicine, I hope to hold on to the important responsibility put upon physicians to care for both the medical and non-medical aspects of their patients.

How has HCMP benefited your professional or individual goals?
HCMP has equipped me with skills that will prove very helpful for me in the future. Through the HCMP application process, I have developed my interviewing skills and because of this feel more confident to do interviews later in my academic career. I also have had further practice with discussing medically relevant topics. HCMP members have had the great opportunity to have discussions with a third year medical students covering topics such as healthcare policy, insurance, and  treatment of the poor. This has definitely given me a more well-versed background in these topics that are so pertinent to being a healthcare professional.

What has been your favorite aspect of HCMP?
One of my favorite aspects of HCMP has been how close-knit the group is. Since we are a small organization, it’s very easy to get to know everyone in HCMP. We also promote these relationships in the structure of our organization. We often have “brown bags” in which a small group of members will get together for lunch or coffee and get to know each other. We also will have socials all together at places like Top Golf or karaoke!