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Personal Narrative: Tennis Court Essay

Enclosed within a 27’ X 78’ tennis court it was the final point of the match. As I shuffled and pivoted to the right with both my arms gripping my racket at shoulder height; I took a deep breath as I approached the tennis ball and made my move. I pondered how my nerves synapsed with my tendons and ligaments in my arms and feet to produce a forehand, while monitoring my heart beat and regulating metabolic demand, an intrigue with the workings of this familiar, yet mysterious body. It was a matter of seconds, and the ball landed exactly on the boundary of the singles’ court. Game, set, and match!

Ten years of practice has taught me every point be played like my life depends on it and these experiences led me to my passion and my future: medicine and through this attentiveness, I have developed a deep passion for science, especially medicine. On my quest to gain medical experience, I shadowed staff at the VCU Health’s Emergency Room. I learned the basics of sterile techniques such as a spinal tap and reading X-rays and EKGs. One day during shadowing, a patient started to code and had trouble breathing; I observed a team of doctors and nurses immediately rush to intubate this patient with the aid of a laryngoscope.

Like a well-coordinated serve, their movements flowed with ease and grace of an ace. One evening, I heard the overhead page system come on, “Trauma team to the ER, stat. ” Those simple words were enough to draw me to the cubicle where they were prepping for a male involved in a motor vehicle accident. Immediately, a multitude of questions rushed through my head regarding the patient’s stability, the degree of injuries, and what this patient’s family was going through.

Before I knew it, a stretcher was wheeled into the room, and I saw Dr. Goldberg, examining the patient for stiffness, blurred vision, dizziness and fatigue, and ordered a X-ray and an MRI to rule out any dislocations or soft tissue injuries. The X-ray came back and indicated that the patient had a pelvic fracture. He immediately was wheeled to surgery. On the way to surgery I noticed the patient’s family and without thinking, I held their hand and began praying with them and telling them everything will be alright. The emotions that went through me are hard to describe. I realized that the healing power of medicine is the ability to bond with and comfort another human being.

During this time, I was able to witness the surgery and saw Dr. Vanguri make the first incision and cauterize her way through the tissue. Navigate through the muscle and eventually arrive at the fracture. The team of surgeons realized that this was more complicated than the X-ray showed. Nevertheless, they persevered and came up with a solution to manipulate the bone fragments in such a way that provides less strain and maximum stability with the help of pins and plates. As they started manipulating the bone fragments, the patient suddenly went tachycardic.

The surgeons were able to swiftly adapt and focus on the unexpected situation that arose. Within minutes they were able to get the patient stabilized and were able to successfully complete the surgery. For the first time, I confronted the fear of losing a patient and all through this I could see the depth of commitment and drive in Dr. Vanguri and her colleagues, and I admired their dedication. Never did I think that I would be placed in a scenario that I had use the same attributes as that of Dr. Vanguri and her colleagues. Two weeks later, my friend, Ahmad, and I were in my apartment and preparing for an immunology exam the next week.

Out of nowhere Ahmad started to convulse and without hesitating I knew what to do. I laid and held him down until he stopped seizing and paid attention to the length of the seizure. Then, I turned him onto his side. Immediately after, I called 911 and explained what had happened and how long the seizure lasted. Upon arriving to the hospital, the doctor immediately drew blood and ran some tests and discovered that Ahmad had forgotten to take his medication. I took the initiative and created two alarms on my phone and to this day remind him twice a day to take his medications.

Doctoring is the only profession where one’s career is devoted to another’s well being, and it is the only profession in which I can find academic challenge, honor, and moral fulfillment I seek. I have watched the physician’s match but have yet to learn the steps, to practice them, and to execute them. The qualities I admire most in a tennis player are those I admire most in a physician, and those I would like to see in myself: a deep understanding of respect for the body, discipline, humility, and resiliency; skill sharpened by practice — and complete commitment.

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