Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Summer break or study break?

This summer I was mostly studying, but also took a break to go back to Costa Rica again as a medical mission trip. I was studying for the MCAT in order to apply for medical school for the 2018 year. I was super nervous and spent most of the summer at my house in New Jersey, studying from day until night. Fortunately in the middle of the summer, I got a chance to be Dr. Gallicchio's teacher's assistant on my trip to Costa Rica. I remember last summer it being such a great experience and wanted to go back and make another difference there. I wanted to go back to the communities and see the difference that we were making. Last summer when I had come back to CR i was so upset by not having enough medication and supplies in our clinics last year that I had an idea to create a club for those members who wanted to help these communities/who wanted to attend the mission trips. This club would raise money for the supplies and medication for the free clinic as well as teaching students the necessary techniques that needed to be performed while in the clinics. These techniques include physical exam, taking vitals, and taking patient history in spanish. With a small idea, I was able to turn it into a huge success by raising close to $5,000 for the following summer. When going back this summer, I wanted to see where all the hard work was going to and it was just a reminder of why I am so passionate about helping these people. I spent 2 weeks in Alajuela, Costa Rica. There we were able to help around 200 patients and it felt amazing. I was so happy to help a lot of these people who lived in conditions that we couldn't even imagine living in the US. When I got back to the US i continued to fill out my medical school applications and was accepted at the end of September to University of South Carolina School of Medicine Greenville Class of 2022. I am so excited to be able to graduate this December and then start this new chapter of my life in July of 2018. I am so thankful for this lab for giving me the skills, guidance, and support to have helped me where I am.

 All that I have learned in this lab is something I am going to take with me no matter where I am, and although it doesn't hold a future career path for me, it certainly is something that I am going to make sure that I am educated about. I think that everyone needs to be educated like I have in this lab and am so lucky to have had this opportunity.It is truly remarkable to be able to listen and learn from students who are interested in conservation of marine resources including Kara, Kylie and Dr. Childress who have such passion for improving our environment. I've learned in lab how special people like this are, who want to change our world for the better and to dedicate their lives basically to the research of it. I can't wait to see what this lab continues to do for students at Clemson.

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