My Medical Career: Gaining Professional Knowledge In The Field Of Anesthesia
Curiosity is the cornerstone of my medical career. Whether was about pathophysiology, biochemistry, pharmacology, or pathology, curiosity has been the driving force of my medical education. Hence it was only fitting that in choosing a medical specialty curiosity played a pivotal role. During my clinical years I had the opportunity to experience a wide variety of specialties, disease processes, and patient populations. Throughout my internal medicine rotation, the thought process behind developing diagnoses and treatment plans satisfied my inquisitive nature. However, during my surgery rotation I was also intrigued by the procedural processes that plays an instrumental role in patient care. I was at a crossroad between the two specialties. It was not until my time on anesthesia for a two-week rotation during winter break of third year that I found a fit that incorporated both the critical thinking of internal medicine and procedural practice of surgery that synergistically fulfilled what I sought after in patient care. Many attributes of anesthesia make it a perfect fit for my ideals as a future physician.
First and foremost, anesthesia entails a sense of curiosity unlike all others. From anticipating complications during pre-operative evaluations, to monitoring of vital signs during surgery, until management in the PACU, I am intrigued by the thought process it entails. Reflecting on the different cases that I had the opportunity to assist on, I enjoyed searching for underlying pathologies that caused derangements in patients’ stability. From inadequate analgesia, to any surgical or anesthetic complications, all required the ability to quickly unveil and treat the underlying etiologies. Such critical thinking provides an avenue that feeds my curiosity while offering opportunities to utilize my medical knowledge to provide exceptional patient care. Beyond the curiosity necessary for anesthesia, the urgency in treatment also plays a crucial role in my appeal to anesthesia. From the operating room, trauma bay, to the code blues, I am continuously captivated by the capacity of anesthesiologists to promptly stabilize patients. This was first evident while I was involved in the care of a patient undergoing interventional radiology for an airway tumor. During attempted intubation, his airway proved to be very challenging. Running through the difficult airway algorithm my attending next placed a LMA, but unfortunately the patient coded at that time. Quickly realizing this, my attending asked our team to begin chest compressions, while the surgical team promptly placed a tracheostomy tube and we were able to resuscitate the patient. Throughout the entire process what fascinated me the most was not only the anesthesiologist’s ability to act promptly, but also the calm demeanor he was able to maintain in the midst of such a stressful and chaotic situation. The ability to confidently manage and stabilize patients during critical events draws me to anesthesia; it enables me to thrive under pressure and maintain composure in handling obstacles that can be the difference in saving a life.
Furthermore, my captivation with anesthesia also stems from the brief but meaningful connections made with patients while they undergo surgery. Reflecting on their feedback, many patients praised my ability to provide comfort during times of high anxiety and fear prior to surgery. During a case where I was pre-operatively evaluating a patient, she expressed her anxiety which stemmed from her research of potential complications of surgery and anesthesia. I addressed her concerns by explaining the low likelihood of complications and reinforcing our confidence to address any obstacles that may arise during surgery. By simply spending the time to console her, I was able to alleviate her anxiety and provide comfort. This ability to comfort patients in a short time span before surgery and as they awaken brings forth an interpersonal connection that deepens my desire to pursue anesthesia.
I am eager to pursue training within an anesthesia residency that offers a conducive environment to expand my medical knowledge and clinical practice, all while satisfying my ever expanding curiosity about medicine. I look forward to becoming integrated amongst a team of leading medical professionals in the field that will mold me into a thriving member and leader in the field of anesthesia.
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