Youth Forward Scholarship Winter 2016 – A Beautiful Day to Save Lives

Name: Hira Azher
From: Virginia Beach, VA
Grade: 11
School: Bayside High School
Votes: 0

Youth Forward Scholarship Essay

            As a great medical role models once said, “It’s a beautiful day to
save lives.” As ironic as it is, this was said in the show that
initially interested me in medicine, Grey’s Anatomy. However, my
concept of healthcare turned upside-down when I volunteered in
Lahore, Pakistan. I chose to volunteer in the Emergency Department at
the Bahria Town Hospital because I assumed it would teach me about
the medical field that I desperately wanted to enter. I volunteered a
total of 40 hours (Monday- Friday) at this hospital alongside nurses
and doctors. From Malaria to Polio, I bettered my knowledge of
healthcare and even the world as I treated these patients. My
responsibilities as a volunteer included taking patients’ vital
signs, scribing for doctors, and even assisting doctors in their
daily rounds. However, my greatest challenge when volunteering was
the language barrier between the patients and myself. Although I’m
fluent in Urdu, many of the patients that came to this hospital spoke
Punjabi, the language of the surrounding villages. Therefore, to
better assist them, I picked up just enough Punjabi to understand
their problems and placate them.

My passion­ for the medical field was at its highest in Pakistan
because I genuinely felt like I made difference in the world. Unlike
the clean and organized hospitals in America, hospitals in Pakistan
are understaffed and lack resources, so they’ll take all the help
they can get. This need for assistance made me feel like my work was
directly helping patients; therefore, the greatest satisfaction I
gained from volunteering was the ability to better the world through
my service. From this experience, I learned that medicine was
more than Dr. Shephard’s lavish lifestyle or some amusing cases on
TV. Rather, being in the medical field means caring about
people. Being in the medical field means spending days and nights
working hard to create a better world. Being in the medical field
means dedicating your life to servicing others and that’s exactly
what I plan to due by becoming a pediatrician. I have specifically
found my passion in this department because I understand that these
kids are the future, and by helping them, I can ensure a better world
for generations to come.

By volunteering at this hospital, I hope to show my colleagues and peers
the importance of servicing one another without any expectations in
return. Also, by being this hospital’s first volunteer, I hope to
inspire more Pakistanis, and even Americans, to pursue volunteering
here. Therefore, this volunteering’s “forward-looking,” because
it’s much greater than just my experience; rather, it’s the start
of a system that’s completely novel to this hospital, and even this
nation. In fact, when I come back in thirty years, I would know my
volunteering made a difference because of the volunteers that’ll be
doing exactly what I once did, and maybe even more. Through this
volunteering I know I’ve made Derek Shephard proud by making every
day “a beautiful day to save lives.”

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