Having always been fascinated by studying the early development of the human organism from a single cell and tracing its evolution over the lifetime of a human being, I decided to pursue this interest through studying biology at St. Jones’ university. At the start of my academic career, I looked forward to becoming a professional researcher in the field of prenatal and neonatal development. This choice of specialization was determined by the fact that I was born premature, and though it is my passion for discovering methods, capable of making changes in neonatal care.
While, during my first year at university, I believed I could do research with only limited practical experiences, my first professional experience in the field provided me with the understanding of the great role of continuous practical activities for successful research. Furthermore, particularly in terms of my practical affiliation, I felt that it is important for me to have direct contact with my patients and deliver quality help to people, regardless of their income.
I got this insightful and instructive experience during my trip to Ghana as part of Medical Brigade. Medical Brigade is a temporary clinic that is set in a rural community. As a member to the Brigade, I took part in a wide variety of activities, such as patients’ check-in, triage, facilitating treatment, as well as delivering basics of health education for children. Communicating with my patients, I learned that people in rural areas in a vast majority of African countries are almost totally deprived of necessary medical care and diseases that are considered to be common and curable in the U.S. represents great threat for these people. I also learnt that many women in Africa are deprived of proper information about the behavior change needs during pregnancy, a threat of preterm birth, as well as basics of neonatal care. It sounds like a nightmare that, in 21st century, many states are still incapable of meeting health care needs of women and save babies, born several weeks before the term.
In terms of my work at one of the stations of the brigade, I personally met a woman, who gave birth to twins two weeks before the term and lost them due to the lack of opportunity to find a health care professional. This conversation helped me understand that the world is full of women, who require adequate health information and professional help, so that they can give birth to healthy children.
Having returned home, I could not forget my experience of working in Ghana, and decided to continue my education to become a physician and dedicate my professional activities to delivering help to pregnant women and neonatal care to babies in world’s most disadvantaged communities. After finishing my education, I would like to return to Africa and work with women and babies there. As I already possess primary knowledge of many medical subjects, I will be able to make a change to the lives of communities I will work at. I also hope that after getting a profound understanding of health-related issues in developing countries on-site, I will be able to take part in policy-making activities, so that a global change can be achieved. I believe that my professionalism, purposefulness and high moral values will help me make my voice heard, and deliver quality care to as many disadvantaged community members as possible.