Describe a shadowing experience that has impacted you the most.
Shadowing Dr. Zachary Chipman, an OB/GYN at Breckenridge, was perhaps the most impactful experience so far. I had never cared much for the field of OB/GYN because I always felt that I would become a pediatric surgeon of some sort. But the atmosphere of the Labor and Delivery portion of Breckenridge was so different from anything that I had ever imagined. Dr. Chipman was extremely gracious and patient with me, eager to explain everything or answer any questions that I had. I not only viewed him as an excellent physician and teacher, but I saw in him gratitude for being able to bring life into the world. The most memorable moment of that day was when we got news that one of Dr. Chipman’s patients was ready to deliver her baby. In an instant, nurses began to hustle around and bring instruments into the delivery room. As they prepped the patient and began speaking with her, I was aware of an intense trust between the mother and the OB/GYN resident. The mother seemed frightened and worried, but as the resident calmly talked her through everything, she relaxed and took up a unique air of confidence that I feel only mothers could possess. The delivery went smoothly and slowly, unlike the panicked and urgent births that movies portray. It was calm in the room and all attention was focused on the patient and her alone. I understood then that the role of the doctor is not to be the dictator of a patient’s health or medical procedure but to be the facilitator. The mother was the one in control of the situation – she pushed when she felt like she could, she took breaks when she needed to, and though the resident was there guiding her, she determined how quickly the baby was coming. I realized how intimate of a moment this was as the mother prepared to meet the child who had been growing inside of her. I remember being astounded at how quickly the baby went from being a tuft of hair poking out to a full head, then how quickly the shoulders and torso emerged. Soon, the room was filled with the cry of new life, and I myself felt like crying. The look on the mother’s face was, I felt, the reason why anyone would want to go into medicine. Had it not been for Dr. Chipman, his resident, or the nurses, the baby maybe would not have been delivered in that safe and almost seamless manner. That day, I realized the importance of the relationship between physician and patient and saw the joy and fulfillment that medicine can bring.
How has HCMP benefited your professional or individual goals?
HCMP has not only reaffirmed my desire to become a physician but it has also given me a broader perspective on the exact field of medicine that I want to pursue. I have always wanted to be a pediatric physician of some sort, most probably a surgeon, but being apart of HCMP has shown me that I should not close off my mind to other possibilities so soon. Numerous doctors that I have shadowed have advised me to explore all the fields that medicine has to offer and to make a choice within medical school. HCMP has helped to widen my horizon when it comes to the possibilities of what medicine will show me in the future.
What has been your favorite aspect of HCMP?
My favorite aspect of HCMP has been that it has shown me the side of medicine that perhaps many people may not want to or choose not to see. Being a doctor is not the glamorous profession that most attribute it to be. There are so many negative and saddening facets of medicine that are often overshadowed by the success and the glory. I really enjoyed being able to glimpse at some of those issues as an undergraduate student because I feel that it helped me better prepare to face these challenges in medical school and beyond.
What do you like to do in your free time?
I love to run or try new activities like rock-climbing, kayaking, hiking. I also love to read or watch movies whenever I get the chance to. I am always excited to try new things or learn something new!