National Blog

“In our society, we praise individuality and standing apart from the rest. While the individual is certainly needed to take the first stand, real power comes from standing together to make the world a better place, whether in the realm of policy or choosing to swap the doughnuts for burpees.”
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"Pressure — that’s the feeling I’ve had for the past several years about choosing a profession and a course of study to commit to in graduate school. Upon entering my first service program, a small Pittsburgh based one called Change A Heart, in August 2016, I had hoped to finally find the answers to the ever-present question, “What are your career plans?” which followed me throughout undergrad as I tried to navigate a journey of self-discovery. I was probably one of the most indecisive students my advisor had ever met, as she sometimes teasingly mentioned. While my indecisiveness wasn’t necessarily a bad thing, I always felt a twinge of self-consciousness because of what I thought was an inability to commit to something. With high hopes, I came to Pittsburgh to find some clarity about what I should be doing with my life, which is understandable for a 22-year old moving to a city for the first time."
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"Gentrification: A word coined so effortlessly by the masses, but also so inherently misunderstood on a concrete level. Before this service term, I knew only of gentrification in an abstract manner."
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“In my mind becoming a physician goes beyond learning the intricacies of human anatomy and biochemistry. It requires a holistic perspective of the patient, compassion, advocacy, inquiry, a willingness to share knowledge, and above all else, a commitment to service.”
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"Eyes glistening with tears, the widow I was interviewing shared that her teenage son had polio. I was speechless; I always saw polio eradication as a modern public health success story. I never expected to find it while conducting interviews for my Master’s dissertation in India. Stunned, I double checked the mother’s statement with my translator, who quietly confirmed it. A brief silence followed. The mother continued, her voice breaking, adding that she couldn’t even afford basic palliative care for her son’s condition. The cost of those unattainable procedures? Ten dollars."
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“Even in a diverse group of people, our shared situation and shared drive to serve others creates a platform on which connections are built. I feel that future members will really find it easier to find similarities with their cohort, despite differences that will inevitably exist.”
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