Although you may not be able to involve yourself in hands on medical care (actually treating patients), you can easily involve yourself in hands on healthcare (improving the limitless socio-economic factors that affect a person’s health). A person’s quality of life, recreational activities, access to clean drinking water, awareness of hygiene, socioeconomic opportunities, etc. all affect the health of the individual; all are factors that you can involve yourself and impact, both at home and abroad.
Involve yourself personally and regularly in local activities to improve the quality of life for others in need. Volunteer with the geriatric population, there is always a need. I play the flute once a week at an assisted living home during a coffee social I organized for the residents. Similarly, volunteering in the disabled community can allow you to improve the quality of life of those with mental and physical handicaps.
Participating in medical trips is a fun and productive way to impact the healthcare of communities abroad. Try http://www.ayudainc.net/ which sends volunteers to places like Ecuador to work with local communities with diabetes, or http://www.surgicorps.org/volunteers.html which send volunteers and medical professionals abroad on medical relief missions. Another avenue to explore is to contact your university’s public policy or public health school to see if you might be interested in becoming a volunteer for any of the projects of faculty, alumni or even masters students.
There are limitless factors affecting one’s health and even more factors yet to be determined. Wanting to become a physician requires at least some care for the health of others, working to improve the many factors affecting the health of others should be inherently appealing and easy to accomplish. Remember, stuff will lead you to finding out what it is that impassions you; one of the more difficult and yet empowering questions to answer about yourself.
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