Volunteering Showed Me That Medicine Is 100% Teamwork
Start writing a post

Volunteering Showed Me That Medicine Is About Teamwork And Teamwork ONLY

There is so much that goes behind the scenes.


When the word "medicine" comes to mind, we often default to the typical scenario of sitting in a clinic with a physician examining you and prescribing medication. The word also brings into mind ways to convince medical schools that you really are the cream of the crop and can handle the rigor expected of a practitioner. The path to even secure admission to medical school is difficult, and one way to tell medical schools that you understand how practicing medicine actually works is by volunteering countless hours in a clinical setting.

In my case, I have been volunteering at a physical therapy outpatient facility operated by Stony Brook Medicine for a few months, slowly accruing hours for my eventual AMCAS. My duties include cleaning the various machines and weights used by patients to gradually rebuild their strength, bringing used linens to the basement to be laundered, filing charts that are no longer needed by the therapists, and in some cases directly observing and interacting with patients. In fact, one of my favorite activities is preparing hot and cold packs for either the cervical or lumbar regions of the body to either make soothe the patients' muscles or reduce inflammation. In all honesty, it is an awesome volunteer experience for me...only with the drawback of being 3 miles away, thus taking me an hour to walk from my room (I don't have a car).

As I continually started my routine each day that I came into the center, I kept thinking to myself, "Why can't I interact with patients nearly as much as I'd like to? Why am I stuck doing the grunt work?" But then another thought rushed into my consciousness: everyone has a part to play. The therapists are not the center of the show. Sure, they interact with patients the most and are the face of the facility to the patient, but there is another layer that is just unseen to the patients, the behind-the-scenes operations that the volunteers undertake. Volunteers are meant to supplement the doctor-patient interaction, and getting a good understanding of that concept is, in my opinion, a great hallmark to becoming a doctor.

Every doctor is not alone, and they are just team players in the grand scheme of things to make the patient's visit more comfortable. Volunteers might not be as important as doctors in terms of interacting with patients, but they are more important in terms of taking care of the grunt work that doctors just don't have the time to complete. As volunteers, we do indeed make a difference in the lives of patients, albeit indirectly. By taking over the mundane and seemingly nonessential tasks of a doctor, we give them more breathing room to put the patient at ease. Reflecting on this fact, I'm quite honored to be a volunteer at Stony Brook Medicine; it's been an exciting (if not exhausting) journey so far! Here's to more hours of learning how to be a team player and making a tangible impact on my community!

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
the beatles
Wikipedia Commons

For as long as I can remember, I have been listening to The Beatles. Every year, my mom would appropriately blast “Birthday” on anyone’s birthday. I knew all of the words to “Back In The U.S.S.R” by the time I was 5 (Even though I had no idea what or where the U.S.S.R was). I grew up with John, Paul, George, and Ringo instead Justin, JC, Joey, Chris and Lance (I had to google N*SYNC to remember their names). The highlight of my short life was Paul McCartney in concert twice. I’m not someone to “fangirl” but those days I fangirled hard. The music of The Beatles has gotten me through everything. Their songs have brought me more joy, peace, and comfort. I can listen to them in any situation and find what I need. Here are the best lyrics from The Beatles for every and any occasion.

Keep Reading...Show less
Being Invisible The Best Super Power

The best superpower ever? Being invisible of course. Imagine just being able to go from seen to unseen on a dime. Who wouldn't want to have the opportunity to be invisible? Superman and Batman have nothing on being invisible with their superhero abilities. Here are some things that you could do while being invisible, because being invisible can benefit your social life too.

Keep Reading...Show less

19 Lessons I'll Never Forget from Growing Up In a Small Town

There have been many lessons learned.

houses under green sky
Photo by Alev Takil on Unsplash

Small towns certainly have their pros and cons. Many people who grow up in small towns find themselves counting the days until they get to escape their roots and plant new ones in bigger, "better" places. And that's fine. I'd be lying if I said I hadn't thought those same thoughts before too. We all have, but they say it's important to remember where you came from. When I think about where I come from, I can't help having an overwhelming feeling of gratitude for my roots. Being from a small town has taught me so many important lessons that I will carry with me for the rest of my life.

Keep Reading...Show less
​a woman sitting at a table having a coffee

I can't say "thank you" enough to express how grateful I am for you coming into my life. You have made such a huge impact on my life. I would not be the person I am today without you and I know that you will keep inspiring me to become an even better version of myself.

Keep Reading...Show less
Student Life

Waitlisted for a College Class? Here's What to Do!

Dealing with the inevitable realities of college life.

college students waiting in a long line in the hallway

Course registration at college can be a big hassle and is almost never talked about. Classes you want to take fill up before you get a chance to register. You might change your mind about a class you want to take and must struggle to find another class to fit in the same time period. You also have to make sure no classes clash by time. Like I said, it's a big hassle.

This semester, I was waitlisted for two classes. Most people in this situation, especially first years, freak out because they don't know what to do. Here is what you should do when this happens.

Keep Reading...Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments