Before coming to medical school, I was actively involved in an after-school mentoring program called Healthy Asian Youth. There was where I believe I first discovered a love for mentoring and teaching, and this has been something I have strived to maintain and continue as a medical student. One thing in particular that I have been able to assist with is demystifying part of the process of applying to and interviewing for medical school. During my time as a medical student, I have been asked to help high school students prepare to interview for BS/MD programs and undergraduates preparing for MD program interviews. To date, they have been successful at their goals and it humbles me to know that I played an important role for them.
As an undergraduate at Ohio State, I was involved as a volunteer in various organizations. At that time, I picked up on a concept that has remained central to my growth and personality to date:
“You can never pay back, so you should always try to pay forward” – Coach Woody Hayes
I was able to succeed as an applicant to medical school in large part due to the assistance of more senior students and mentors who were able to help me avoid pitfalls, meet deadlines and clarify the process for me. As I reflect on this, approaching the end of medical school I can’t help but realize the honest truth of this quote – I am not sure how I could express my gratitude for their help, but only to make sure their advice goes immortalized in my own practice and that I promote through my actions, words and intention.
This really began to manifest as a MS4, where on my surgical sub-internship I would routinely take time to help MS3s and even MS2s on shadowing or similar programs navigate the hospital, the EMR and teach informally to them while walking around. In particular, I had a surgery shelf powerpoint that I would try and go through with the students, as retrospective experience told me that it covered high-yield points and allowed me to recall intricate details about test questions that were key. Given that my sub-internships were also very early on in the clerkships for these students, I can only hope that I was helpful.
I continued to do this while on my away rotation as well, knowing that as a MS4 I was constantly a role model and source of advice to the students. Questions about lifestyle, how to schedule Step 2, which services to work on and how to study were just some of the things I fielded. Something I have learned during my time as a medical student has been to not underestimate the value of experience, whether it is me passing down my own or reaching out to others to learn of theirs. I only see this continuing as a resident and eventually attending, as so much of medicine is this informal process of learning. I am eager to continue my role as learner but also to begin wading into the waters of being a teacher and educator, paying it forward as my career unfolds.
- Identify and utilize professional role models as a means of growth and accept the responsibility of acting as a role model and teaching and training others.