My interest in medicine and desire to become a doctor stems from the healthcare disparities I experienced and witnessed as a child in Ghana and as a teen in the US. I can still remember as a kid in Ghana going to the hospital, the long lines I had to wait in to get care and the old equipment that doctors had to use; and I can still remember how shocking it was the first time I went to a US doctor and saw the upgrade in equipment and facilities. However growing up in the US, I also became aware that not all people, especially minorities, have access to the best healthcare America could provide. These experiences made me more aware of how lacking my home country of Ghana and my adopted country of the US were in providing equitable care. It drove my interest in becoming a doctor in hopes of helping close this gap in care available to people.
This drive for equitable care among patients also molded my idea of the type of doctor I need to be in order to provide the care that would achieve this equity. A doctor who not only focuses on the scientific factors that affect a patient’s health but also looks at the social determinants that are affecting the patient such as their access to transportation, good food, and education; and combines that knowledge to effectively offer solutions that are achievable and within the patient’s means. After the reading and discussion on “Pictures of the Patient: Medicine, Science and Humanities” by Martyn Evans, one of the key takeaways I got from the article was its discussion of the literature perspective of viewing a patient. This perspective deals with forming a narrative of the patient to better understand their entire experience and not just view them from the scientific perspective of a doctor looking for quantitative results. This section, in particular, really affirmed my view of being a doctor who approaches patients with a holistic mindset and not one who only focuses on the clinical side of things because of the clearer picture one gets of the patient and their needs.