I’ve never seen a life more petrified. Both emotionally and physically, the despair that I saw in my father was certainly conspicuous. The shimmer I saw in his eye as it met with my eyes paralyzed me as if I had seen the serpents on the head of Medusa. For that instance, I could feel the fear–a fear that would make a father tremble with hopelessness. The father is the provider: the trunk on a tree that holds his branches together. I could sense the agony that was subtly embedded in his head.
“What’s going to happen? How will I go a few months without working? What do I do?”.
The atmosphere was definitely familiar with an aroma that you could recognize right away, a reclinable bed, a TV, two chairs, a restroom, an IV, Osteoarthritis.
“Osteoarthritis, a disease that affects the joints”, the doctor said in the typical 50-year old doctorly monotone.
That word was bitter. That word brought a sense of restlessness into the room. I didn’t know what to think, what to do, or what to say; understanding my father’s condition was a start I guess.
Osteoarthritis, broken down by definition, means inflammation in the joints. Finding this out, it didn’t sound that bad. My intuition was telling me otherwise, because in my head being diagnosed with anything reminds me of death. But eventually,I was blessed enough to know that my father’s arthritis wasn’t the chronic and serious one of the several different kinds of arthritis. Rheumatoid Arthritis was more chronic and whimsical as one’s own body would put up a fight against its own immune system: “ In addition to causing joint problems, rheumatoid arthritis sometimes can affect other organs of the body — such as the skin, eyes, lungs and blood vessels.”. What was hard on not only my father but my family was that he was barely able to produce any major movement: this meant that he’d only be able to be at home which means he wouldn’t be able to work. Osteoarthritis, or just arthritis in general, has no known cure. As horrendous as that may be, there are several different kinds of treatment and ways to make the best out of arthritis, as contradictory that may sound. The arthritis that my father has is caused by the overuse of one’s own joints. As the cartilage in our joints is used as a cushion and a shock absorber, the wear and tear of our joints and this reduces the cushioning effect causing pain whenever two bones rub against each other at a joint.
Learning more about my father’s condition, my perception was more vastly influenced. Next thing I knew, I wanted to learn all about the human body. I frequently went with my father to visit the Orthopedic specialist, Dr. Cheatum M.D. Speaking to Dr. Cheatum M.D was like speaking to a monk who has been on the Earth longer than any other human being. The amount of knowledge Dr. Cheatum M.D possessed was immense. I always left the doctor’s office lavished with knowledge.
And before I could even tell, a huge interest to study medicine grew within me. But what would it take to become one?
Inspired by my father’s condition, I found an interest in orthopedics. But choosing a career at an early age is like trying to hit a bullseye on a dartboard, because you might get an idea of what you want to do but it isn’t quite on target.
Even at this point, I’m not quite sure, but exploring different careers in the medical field is always a start.
Two major areas of study that interest me are orthopedics and optometry, the study of the eye..
From Dr. Cheatum, I got exposure to first-person experience on the road to becoming an orthopedic specialist. He definitely emphasized that it was no easy task and reminded me that it has now only become even more rigorous to become a doctor.
All doctors and other different specialist have to start with a Bachelor’s degree at an undergraduate school. But not only do you just have to pass your classes, you have to excel in them. And this is because the future doctors of America should know that becoming a doctor means that you are not like the average student, rather one who is extremely hard working and has a passion to learn some more. For high school students, this means that you have to have to be already excel in all of your classes because its important to set yourself apart from the beginning. In undergraduate school, it is ideal to major in a science course such as biology, where I plan to major in, or chemistry and that is because of the background knowledge that you gain as it relates to the human body. Now from here is where there is a difference between becoming an orthopedic specialist and an optometrist. For orthopedics, after undergraduate school, you have to pass the MCAT(Medical College Admissions Test), which is an extremely difficult test to pass. Considering the amount of competition is an important detail because passing the MCAT is required to go on to Medical School and getting accepted into Medical school is probably one of the greatest obstacles to overcome. “They come in two rounds, a preliminary and secondary, and follow with an interview if competitive. Entrance rates vary, but schools usually admit about 5-10% of applicants.” So after 4 years of undergraduate school, you go to medical school for 4 more years. Upon finishing with medical school, you have to take the National Board Exam which is actually not the hardest part on the path to becoming a doctor. Passing the National Board Exams, means you can be now known as a doctor. All that is left is one year of internship unless you want to become a surgeon, in which you’d have to add on another four years of internship instead of the one year. Overall it takes about 9-13 years to become a doctor. “Students who enter medical school with high debt levels, low scores on the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT) or who are non-white are more likely to face difficulties that may prevent graduation or hinder acceptance into a residency program”Although doctors are paid pretty well, it can extremely difficult to become one.
Why is it different with Optometry? For one, dealing with the eyes is something that a handful of the population has to deal with. Anyone who wears glasses or contacts probably had them prescribed by an optometrist. So after obtaining your Bachelor’s in a science, you take the Optometry Admissions test(OAT) for admission into Optometry school. Getting into Optometry school can be just as competitive as going into medical school. You go to Optometry school for four years and similar to medical school, you have to take a National Board Exam for optometry. You then do residency for a year or two afterwards. Becoming a specialist, you also have to keep your license current so you might have to have a certain amount of school hours per year because there is always new things to learn in an area of study. So if you’re considering joining the area of medicine, it is important that you are determined from the start. This includes high school, college , and then medical school.
Doctors are important to society because they are like the white blood cells in our own bodies. As white blood cells help heal a wound, doctors ensure the well-being of people.