Family Medicine Resident Physician, Waco, Texas
What was your involvement in the MSC?
MSC L.T. Jordan Institute for International Awareness, EEVP, MSC President
What does a day in your life look like currently?
My days can vary a lot depending on which service I'm assigned to. Typically, I wake up around 4 a.m. and work out prior to heading into the hospital to check on my patients and any assigned to me from my team. I may spend the whole day at the hospital, or a few days a week I will leave at lunch and spend the afternoon in my clinic seeing my patient panel. I work the inpatient adult, pediatrics, newborn nursery, and labor and delivery services. I typically finish work anytime between 5-8 p.m., then head home for a quick dinner and some relaxation for bed.
Currently, underneath the shadow of COVID, I have several more patients under my care than usual. I have been getting to the hospital at 4:30 or 5:00 a.m. and seeing more patients than usual because several of my coworkers are out on quarantine or have been pulled from our team to cover other services. I am responsible for seeing patients that are both well and sick, and have to be super careful to not carry any infectious diseases from the people I evaluate in the ER to the nursery or labor deck. We keep our masks in bags and have to ration them and rotate every few days. I'm working 12 days on call, 2 days off currently.
The MSC helps build leaders by providing opportunities to improve skills such as critical thinking, active listening, giving and receiving feedback, and others. What skills did you gain in your involvement with the MSC and how did your time as a student leader prepare you for your role during this challenging and unforeseen time?
All of the above are skills I cultivated during my time in the MSC and use on a daily basis as a physician. In particular, active listening and strong communication skills have become increasingly important since the start of this pandemic. A lot more communication between providers, other providers/nursing staff, and patients is happening via phone, and communicating directly, kindly, and efficiently is a crucial skill. I also feel that I gained a good tolerance for facing the unknown and being resilient in the face of uncertainty while I worked as an MSC Officer - these skills have definitely strengthened me.
If you were to return to your time in the MSC, what skills would you personally focus on strengthening, especially in your current situation?
If I could, I would work on strengthening my decisiveness most. More and more, we are being asked to make decisions with less and less time for consideration and consultation. I've never been a particularly decisive person so this has challenged me, especially with the acuity of cases that keep presenting to our inpatient wards.
The MSC core values are Respect, Excellence, Leadership, Loyalty, Integrity, Service and Diversity. What core value best describes the work you do today?
This is a difficult choice, but the word that resonates with me today is Loyalty. I feel a deep sense of service and duty to my patients, my community, and my teammates both locally and abroad within the healthcare community. I believe we are products of the communities in which we've lived and learned, and are designed to contribute back to the communities where we end up. As a family physician, each of those core values represent a facet of my job and a value I hope to demonstrate to my patients.
What is one of your favorite memories from being involved in the MSC?
Getting punched in the face while helping with ticket pulls for Kevin Hart's comedy show? Honestly though, I'll always remember the MSC Party on the Plaza event during Howdy Week of my senior year with the Emerald City Band. The event was pulled together by students and staff from several areas of the MSC and everyone worked together to put on a really fun and successful event. That was the way the MSC worked at its best, and the way I remember my time there.
What else would you like to share about the MSC?
I'm always happy to support the MSC and its students according to my ability. Have students reach out to me for anything; from advice, to mentorship, to fundraising opportunities...I want to pass it back, Ags!