Getting Ready

February 20, 2012

If all goes through, my volunteer work will consist of working in a shelter for homeless men, working with children with handicaps and visiting the sick in the hospital under the guidance of a pastor. On top of this, I’m hoping to perform scientific research at the Oregon Center for Hearing Research under the direction of a deaf professor of head and neck surgery in the not so distant future.

The volunteer work will only last a month as the vocational rehabilitation office wants to observe my work ethic before they will agree to pay for my college education, but I’m hoping to turn it into a long term experience. In any sense, they’ll only pay for my undergraduate studies and not medical school. Nonetheless, there are educational grants and loan repayment programs available for doctors willing to serve an underserved minority patient population. I believe my experience as both a Deaf American and a Latin American would serve me well as I would want to focus on these patient populations in my practice. I’m especially interested in serving the culturally Deaf who have great difficulty finding culturally sensitive medical care in our predominantly hearing world. I imagine Deaf people would be willing to commute an hour or two away to be treated by one who understands their self-identity and moral values. Not only that, if I worked in an academic children’s hospital, I’d be a popular option for referring doctors who agreed that their Deaf patients would receive better care under my service.

So much to think about and look forward to. I’m excited to be at this point in my life where a dream I’ve always had finally seems within reach.

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