I feel that some of the most formative experiences during my medical school career fall outside of the competency domains. My time spent in the community, whether working on my CHE project or with the Columbus City Schools, was incredibly impactful on how I aim to spend my career. I knew when entering medical school that community work was to be a big part of my career, but I didn’t realize how separate it would feel from clinical work. I hope that as I progress through residency I will be able to unify those aspects of my life much better. I know that there are many clinicians that cannot tease out the difference between their community and clinical work. I hope to one day achieve that. I do believe that much of this comes from my role as a student but very much look forward to the change in that separation. In the future, I hope to be able to incorporate my work in the school district with more health education tied to the gardening activities I have participated in throughout medical school.
Community work, for me, is how I see the application of my medical training to be the most useful given my particular strengths and interests. I see the limitations that fully office based work can have on your impact in the daily lives of patients. In comparison to patients regular influences, the 3o mins you may have every 6 months is dwarfed in comparison to the amount of time their barber can gain their attention. If I can be involved in the frequent mediums that patients are influenced by, I feel that more good can come from my efforts. I know that COVID has hampered much of the community outreach that was going on prior, but this state will not persist forever. Throughout residency, I will embed myself in OSU’s community efforts (i.e., mobile health clinic, CFC). I will also continuously explore alternatives to standard methods of healthcare delivery. The amount of reach that I have as a clinician will be a direct product of the time I spend within the community. I will continue to stay involved in the community projects that I have participated in to date, but aim to shift my role and influence within them.