My day started with an early drive down I-45 South in the darkness with my parents repeatedly asking when the next exit would be. As we got closer, I started to get nervous. When I stepped into the building, all the jitters went away, and I realized I had nothing to be scared of. Because I had previously shadowed different health professionals in the cardiology field, I had no clue how this particular visit would go. I arrived with an open mind at Bay Area Regional Medical Center, and Dr. Patel made my experience meaningful and made me see cardiology in a different way.
Although I’m interested in neurology, cardiology has always been of interest to me. Just like the brain, the heart is one of the organs that our body can’t function without. Seeing the passion that Dr. Patel had for every one of his patients made this a really unique experience . One of the most interesting procedures that I got to see was a stent procedure through the femoral artery. I even got to wear a bunny suit and a hairnet to go into the operating room. Even though Charlotte ( another EMERGE student) and I couldn’t go inside the actual operating room because of the radiation that was being used, we got to see the procedure through the window. The nurses who were there initially thought we were college students, but when we explained that we were high school students, they started to explain what was going on in simpler terms.
While the whole day wasn’t filled with the dramatic procedures that are usually seen on TV shows, the tasks that Dr. Patel performed were eye-opening. Just when I thought he couldn’t deal with one more patient, he continued to check patient history, charts, and dictate so quickly that I wondered how those responsible for typing up his visits could even keep up. My day ended with a staff meeting with Dr. Patel. In this meeting, the lead staff discussed the new guidelines that were set by the American Heart Association and how they could better implement the guidelines in every department of the hospital that had to deal with any patients who came in with heart related problems.
At first, being among a group of respected staff in the hospital made me feel uneasy, but I began to look at the positive side of being brought into the meeting. It was like a flash forward to what I will be expected to do as a neurologist. By seeing the amount of work and dedication required to complete all tasks, my visit to Bay Area Regional Medical Center helped me get a clear picture of my own vision for my career. I was inspired to give my all, even if things aren’t going my way, just like Dr. Patel had to face throughout several instances. This never stopped him from giving us and, most importantly, his patients the care and attention that we all needed. For the same reason, I will continue to strive for excellence to ensure that one day the patients that come across my path will be better off and have the chance to live a better life after their clinical experience.