Spotlight: Suhani Goyal

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Name: Suhani Goyal
Major: Neuroscience
HCMP Role: Preceptor Coordinator
Associations: Financial Director of Natural Sciences Council, President of She’s the First, First Year Interest Group Mentor

Describe a shadowing experience that has impacted you the most. 
One morning on pediatric rounds at Dells Children’s Hospital, I walked into a room with a mom sitting in the corner with her two year old son in her arms. As I entered the room, I did not know what to expect. The doctors began conversing with the mother in Spanish and I attempted to comprehend what was going on. During the course of the conversation, the doctors kept using the term, NTA. Once we left the room, I asked the doctors what NTA was and I soon learned that it stood for non-trauma abuse. The child had been taken away from his family by child protective services at the age of six months and put into foster care where he was abused.  He now suffered from shaken baby syndrome due to the brain injuries he incurred. Someone literally shook the child so hard that his brain hit the skull wall resulting in permanent damage. Due to his injuries, he now has fifteen-twenty seizures a day. What surprised me the most about this meeting was how the doctors were working with social workers to reunite this family and help them overcome their struggles. This was the first time I was able to witness firsthand how the medicine goes beyond just the field of science.

How has HCMP benefited your professional or individual goals?
Through HCMP, I was able to find the reason as to why I wanted to go into medicine. Ever since I was little, I wanted to become a doctor but my experiences with patients and the medical professionals helped me to realize why I was attracted to this field and that it is something I would like to pursue as a career. Additionally, I have also learned how different medical professionals interact with each other and this knowledge is something that cannot be taught. I know that in the future I would like to work in a collaborative environment  similar to the ones I observed while shadowing.

What has been your favorite aspect of HCMP?
One of my favorite aspects of HCMP has definitely been meeting all the other members. I have been fortunate enough to get to know some of the most passionate individuals at UT and have also been able to find some amazing mentors whom I can always turn to for advise. Having a group of individuals you can rely on and who are at a similar stage in their educational career as you is a great benefit to have and it is not something I expected to find when I joined HCMP.