Going into this program I was really hopeful that I would find that profession that just clicked and felt right for me. I’ve always known I was interested in health care, but I never knew what would be best for me. Each clinic we did and hospital we went to provided me with a unique perspective of the health sector, and specifically patient care.
During freshman year of college, I had the goal of becoming a travel nurse because it combined two of the things that I want in my profession: travel and the ability to help people. Since then, I have struggled with changing my mind and then getting overwhelmed, especially when I had friends that have known what they wanted to do for their whole life. This program had brought to light that there are so many different professions out there that include those two things and that there is no rush to go into them.
I had the opportunity to go into the surgical ward for one of my shadowing days at Ridge Hospital. This day was the most eye-opening day, because not only was I able to see myself in this kind of hospital setting, I was also able to speak to surgeons that had some of the best advice. Dr. Fatima and Dr. Kong were doctors that specialize in Laparotomy, and they talked about their experience in surgery as well as what they had to do to get there. We asked if they had any advice into which specialty they would say for us to go into, and they said, “NOT SURGERY.” But then, when we asked if they could go back and do it all over again what they would choose, and they said, “Surgery for sure.” Haha. I loved hearing that because it meant that it was rewarding yet challenging. I want to be challenged every day in this kind of field. Dr. Fatima went on to say that she was just volunteering at Ridge Hospital and that she left her job in the United States because she got bored. The only reason she came back to Ghana was because she had studied abroad here in her undergraduate years and loved it. This is something I can definitely see myself wanting to do if I do go this route. Overall, I loved being in this type of setting and even though blood and intestines were visible, I felt that sense of calm and excitement about being there. It has made me seriously consider applying to medical school and even if I don’t this will be an experience I will never forget.
I have learned so much from this program, about Ghana and about myself, and it wouldn’t have been the same without the people I got the opportunity to meet. So, my advice to those that come in next summer, be vulnerable and open to learn, because man are you in for a time of your life.
Meda ase Ghana!
How the end of our time at Ridge and this program helped me narrow my focus
Finding the light in situations where the resources are limited.
A story about how my first OR experience changed the trajectory of my future
How coming all the way to Ghana showed me where my passion is
Learning about the reality of HIV treatment in Ghana.