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The Inspiring Art Of Healing Essay

643 words - 3 pages

Although I had always considered medicine a potential career from hearing my mother’s frequent inspirational recounts as a dentist, it was my volunteer work that awakened my sense of responsibility to the world and my desire to help patients heal. As a volunteer at the UCSF Medical Center, I dashed through corridors with a patient rushing to find his wife in the maternity ward, minutes before she delivered. Witnessing the newborn with the family was a heartening experience, and fostering trust with patients at UCSF Medical has enriched my life immeasurably. Such interactions enhanced my ability to build strong interpersonal bonds, and I was awarded the HEARTS Award from UCSF for exemplary patient care. The hospital became my second home and I realized that I might enjoy working in a health care setting.
While volunteering at UCSF, I also discovered the important role that language plays in connecting with patients, and the socio-emotional aspects of healing that may be overlooked in a field that tends to prioritize biological mechanisms. Growing up as a second generation Indian, I was fortunate to have learned and preserved my mother tongues through speaking Hindi and Punjabi with my parents on a daily basis. At UCSF, I reached out to Indian patients who were experiencing language barriers, and was surprised to discover the simple calming effects of a warm smile and a congenial conversation, despite otherwise being strangers. The time I spent conversing with patients, grappling with their fears and pain, has not only made me more aware of the social factors in healthcare, but also inspired me to better understand the role of the mind in bodily healing.
My interest in mind-body interactions led me to pursue psychology and cognitive neuroscience courses at the Academic Talent Development Program at UC Berkeley. In a course on psychology, I had a rare opportunity to conduct my own research on the influence of race and emotion on eyewitness...

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