I am half asleep and a bit startled while on an airplane during a 14-hour flight to India. A voice on the intercom announces, “Attention, we are in need of medical assistance for a passenger. If there are any doctors on board, would they please inform a flight attendant?”
Again, a minute later, the same announcement is repeated by the pilot, though in a more urgent tone.
As a pre-med student, I find many medical related situations that inspire me and intrigue me every day. For example, I love watching youtube videos of medical students vlogging their day-to-day lives. They talk about the medical cases they discuss in their classes and the tasks they complete during their rotations. It’s incredible and really helps me understand the pressures and responsibilities that come with the field. It’s this type of knowledge that encourages my interest in the field of medicine.
While it fascinates me, it also brings about a sense of urgency in me.
I’ve observed that, like these medical students on hospital rotations, doctors must feel this itch to solve medical problems.
During this flight to India, the announcement seeking medical assistance really affected me. I wished that I could have been able to contribute. But, of course, there was nothing that a pre-med student like myself would have been able to do. So, I sat there in my own agony, waiting to see a doctor rush past the aisle next to me or hear another announcement from the pilot.
The only deduction I could make, based on the fact that there were no further announcements from the pilot and that the plane had not made an emergency landing, was that the passenger was probably ok and out of imminent danger.
This experience, and many similar to this, made me realize how helpless I was and how much of service I wanted to be. It made me cognizant of the idea that I didn’t just want to help; I needed to. It felt like it would have been my duty. After all, if I were a licensed doctor, how would I have been able to sit back and just wait for someone else to do the job? It’s a doctor’s self-realized commitment to aid in medical emergencies. I can't wait to make that commitment and help change the world.