Personal Statement for Family Medicine- Glendale Adventist

Why Family Medicine? Why Glendale Adventist?

On February 25th, 1989, Glendale Adventist Medical Center welcomed my family with open arms as my mom had gone into labor earlier during the day. Being recent immigrants to the United States my parents were unsure and hesitant about the medical care they would receive at Glendale Adventist due to previous poor experiences in their country of origin. Needless to say the staff at Glendale Adventist treated my parents as if they were family, and as a family, my mother, father, doctors, nurses, and hospital staff welcomed another son into this world.

Many years later, I was extremely excited that I would finally be able to drive without any parental supervision as I counted down the days until my sixteenth birthday. Sadly, my mother too was also beginning a new stage in her life, as she was tragically diagnosed with stage IV colon cancer. My mother’s cancer drove into adulthood sooner than expected. The medical care of people, in all of its magnificence and with all of its problems, became the cornerstone of my adult life.

Throughout my mother’s ordeal, she received care at Glendale Adventist, where we encountered physicians and staff from many specialties up to and including, hematology/oncology, general surgery, physical and occupational therapy, and her family physician. The specialist that stood out to me the most was her family practitioner. He devoted the time and effort necessary to explain the severity of her illness, presented us with treatment options. More importantly, he gave us the much-needed hope to endure the challenges we would encounter.

Little did I know, pursuing the goal to become a family medicine physician was sparked by our experiences at Glendale Adventist. During high school, I sought out opportunities to broaden my understanding of medicine, especially the roll of a family medicine physician. Under the supervision of Dr. Arbi Ghazarian, I began to volunteer at the Glendale Community Free Health clinic where I was given the privilege to be involved in patient interactions. I was able learn and expand my understanding of the science of medicine, as well as the art of medicine by my interactions between different cultures and the compassion exchanged between medical staff and patients. As this was a health clinic for the uninsured, I was able to see how the lack of insurance had its own repercussions and how it transcended differently between cultures. I saw many health disparities related to hypertension, diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease and mental health. In addition, I witnessed the impact the social determinants of health and how it affected the uninsured population.

During my third year family medicine clerkship, I was privileged to be placed with Dr. John Lewis in Colonial Heights, VA. Although being thousands of miles away from my home in Glendale, I felt comfortable during this clerkship because I had already developed the skills necessary to interact with patients in this particular setting. Patients, from all walks of life, were seen at this clinic and I was given the opportunity to better refine the skills already attained previously. As a third year medical student I had a better understanding of the science behind the disease but I focused my attention on further understanding the interplay of social determinants and the artistic skill in which a family medicine physician must balance treatment, patient education and a patient’s social situation.

As my third year of medical school slowly comes to an end, I can comfortably say that I found and have fallen in love my craft. The craft being family medicine. Like all good artists, mentorship and training is the basis of excellent productions of masterful and priceless works. Many great artists have traveled near and far to master their craft. My path to becoming a family physician started at a hospital room in Glendale, California and my pursuit of this path has taken me to Northern Tennessee and Central Virginia, it is time for this artist to come back home. I look forward to expanding my current knowledge and skill set in the community I grew up in, a community where my roots began, a community I understand.

I am interested in a 4th year medical student Clerkship at Glendale Adventist due to its emphasize on preventative care for all ages with a focus on health for the underserved in a multi-cultural city. More over I am extremely intrigued about the opportunity to see patients with faculty and residents and independently. This would allow the chance for great and upcoming artists to guide me in my educational career, as well being able to practice the craft independnantly and receiving fundamental feedback as I further refine my skillset.

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