In Rice on January 30, 2009 by David

What an exhilarating week. Volunteering at Reliant Park, PChem test, Volunteering at HHH, write proposal, turn in Goldwater application, and Biochemistry test. I’ve noticed I am the happiest when I am busy. And I guess you can say I was really happy this week! I really don’t know what to do with myself when I am not occupied. But that’s beside the point. What I really wanted to write about today are my career goals. Over the last few weeks, I have been rather pensive, reevaluating my career ambitions, justifying my actions, questioning my motives. Over the course of this week, I feel so much more reassured. Through small details in daily taks and big thoughts in moments alone, this week has reaffirmed my medical ambitions. I just felt really happy doing the things I had to do this week, and I am rejuvinated in my dream to become David Ouyang, MD.

First, volunteering, I am touched by how doctors truly make a difference in people’s lives. Working with the homeless, I am amazed by how important cardiovascular health is and how our lifestyles truly need to change. Being in America, we are blessed with plenty – food is relatively cheap and easily obtainable. People aren’t malnourished, they are mis-nourished. The problem with cheap food, fastfood food, and easily obtained food is that they are cheap calories, saturated fats, and cholestrol. The paradox is that even in the homeless population, there is a high occurance of obesity, much more so than in other countries that I have been to. I attribute this directly to differences in lifestyle, society, and diet in the general public. Access to cheap food, high in saturated fats and cholestrol, is so much easier and more prevalent than access to home cooking, vegetables, and the variety of other nutritional mechanisms that require stability.

Even when dealing with belligerent clients, a polite but firm demeanor is all that is needed to get things done. I think ironic thing is I enjoy with belligerent poeple the most – in part because I can sympathize with them. The homeless is neglected. Not only in the sense of lacking material possessions or lacking proper nutrition, but to be homeless is to be constantly disrespected. People either view them with fear and rejudice, or utterly ignore them.That, I think, is the most painful. Yet they are people too. They are amazing people, with their own experiences, loves, and hates. They are God’s children. They are hard-working, polite people with simple tastes. Regardless the reason, they should be respected. This total lack of respect, utter rejection by society as a whole, on anyone would be traumatizing. If the shoe was on the other foot,  I would be more than belligerant. I would be livid if I was treated with the contempt and rejection they deal with every single day. They are so happy to just talk with me, to be treated with respect, to care for them. They tell me stories about the importance of education, as they watched me read my biochemistry book.  They talk about thier frustrations, the lack of options. After all, what can you do when you are in that kind of situation? Social mobility comes from education, and education comes only from a basis of stability. To be homeless is to be constantly frustrated, and if they need to vent, then they should. I’m just glad I am there to listen.

I’ll write more about my other experiences this week when I get back from research.


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