Astrud in Galveston

Astrud is a junior major, with minors in chemistry, international studies and human rights, in Dedman College. In Summer 2009, she is participating in her second summer internship with the Joint Admission Medical Program (JAMP) at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. She is taking classes as well as observing and following doctors through preceptorships.
In August 2009, Astrud will be participating in the SMU Human Rights Program’s trip to Rwanda. As part of a Richter Research Fellowship, she will study the effects there of public health care on childhood obesity and its impact on human rights.

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It’s crunch time

If you think that applications, interviews and recommendation letters ended when you graduated high school, you would be mistaken. Over these past few days, all of us here have been working on personal statements and optional essays, trying to find the words that would best express our thoughts and unique experiences.

All of us have struggled to put down into words our desire to become physicians. Likewise, most of us have stepped out of our comfort zones, letting others constructively critique a body of work that we most likely have edited a dozen times already.

On certain afternoons, I would get this feeling of deja vu, feeling exactly the same way when I was filling out my college application. It brings back memories of frustrating moments when I would be at a loss for words, but at the same time, I recall the feeling of accomplishment in finishing everything. In time, I will finish this as well.

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The summer is quite prominent on the island now as we find ourselves leaving earlier for class in order to beat the traffic from the tourists. I personally am amazed at how many different activities can be accomplished in one area of the beach. In the afternoons, I always make it a point to look at what color flag the lifeguards have put out for the day, knowing that blue means creatures in the water.

Despite the work that we are doing, facing our computers and working on our applications, we are also having a lot of fun. Just this past Wednesday, we celebrated my roommate’s birthday, and a big group of us ate out at one of the local restaurants on the island. Most of our late nights are spent playing board games like Taboo and Cranium, and we quote hilarious yet memorable moments the following day.

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I have met quite a number of friends who undoubtedly will continue to be a part of my life even after this summer ends. As I sit next to them in class and listen to their stories during our breaks, it becomes even more apparent that they would become excellent physicians.

I can safely and soundly vouch that all of the future doctors taking classes with me are people who understand the fiduciary relationship between patient and doctor (It is actually a term that I learned in one of my medical ethics classes). They are willing and capable of putting others before themselves, a trait that is expected from the profession.

I must admit that I am a bit saddened by our near departure from this institution and this program, but I walk away with new friends and excitement, ready to witness all the great things that my future colleagues here will undoubtedly do.

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As always, I leave you with things that I have learned over the past few days.

1. Do not be afraid to try something because you are scared to fail. Failure, most of the times, is just a detour to success.

2. Get to know the people around you and make it a point to tell them that they are an important part of your life. You never know how long you’ll have them for.

3. Surprise birthday parties are just as fun when you’re in college as when you were in elementary school.

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