When I Fell in Love With Family Medicine

Aisha Harris Medical Student

Aisha Harris
Medical Student

This is a finalist in the 2015 STFM Blog Competition

When I decided to pursue a career in medicine I knew that I wanted to go into primary care. Primary care physicians were the individuals that impressed and influenced me. They were on the front line providing grassroots medicine and I wanted that. I wanted the feeling of being a catalyst for change in an individual and a community. I wanted the unique responsibility and humility that comes with practicing family medicine and its roots within its general practitioner history. And be a part of the critical role of family medicine physicians and their ability to get intertwined within generations, households, and communities.

Family medicine to me means being a resource to patients and their families and welcoming the opportunity to improve circumstances and quality of life by embodying the core beliefs of medicine. When I started my family medicine rotation during the third year I was excited. During my first 2 years of medical school, I became more and more interested and intrigued by family medicine because of the beautiful spectrum of potential opportunities, experiences, and impact.

Day one of my family medicine rotation I fell in love with it. I enjoyed walking into a room not knowing what a patient would report, what symptom they would be most concerned with, or what other topics would arise as we built a relationship. I enjoyed learning about their situations and being able to provide help through medical and non-medical resources. I appreciated the moments the patients felt that I was a friend and advocate for them. The community center I worked in provided many services from medical and dental to law and social work and many other resources that would benefit someone’s daily life. The clinic was a place that could utilize its location, leverage, and colleagues to provide the care that a patient needed, health and non-health related. It was a glimpse into the future I desired, a future providing quality care on the front steps of a community.

During my time rotating in family medicine, I remember a mother and daughter coming in with one appointment but leaving with a treatment plan for each of them, a connection with a social worker, and access to the grocery store within the center. I remember the Spanish-speaking patient who wiped her tears away as I comforted her and assured her that we would truly help her. And the 8-year-old that was so excited about her first week of school she told me all about her teachers and friends during her well child check. Finally, I remember the elderly woman who had weekly transportation difficulties for her appointments and was overcome with the joy and relief when we told her about all the resources available to her for free. I remember the faces, the stories, the influence the patients and community had on me.

When I entered medical school I came in with many stories but the stories fostered from my experiences during medical school in primary care settings, especially family medicine, have moved and motivated me. Like reading a good book on a Sunday afternoon, family medicine is comfortable and captivating to me. Family medicine is beautifully diverse. It has found its way into my heart not only because of its broad understanding and knowledge base but also its unique personal touch for every patient, family, and community. Family physicians are able to become a part of a community and shape their practice to focus on the needs of their community. To me, family medicine means providing a future, a future for patients and their community through patient-centered care, quality resources and skills, and community relationships.

15 responses to “When I Fell in Love With Family Medicine

  1. Reblogged this on A Family Doctor's Reflection and commented:
    Another great post.

  2. Doctors rock

  3. Great post.

  4. It was an absolute pleasure reading this post =]

  5. Wow! Wish I had a doctor like you. Truly caring about people. Very touching.

  6. I tried so hard to recruit Aisha to Kettering University. She had participated in my summer pre-college STEM program, AIM (Academically Interested Minds) before her senior year of high school. At that time, Kettering didn’t offer a pre-med program, so she attended University of Michigan- Ann Arbor. (Boy, did they get BLESSED)

    After reading her story, I’m not surprised at all why she fell in love with family medicine. I personally know Aisha’s family, and they are a very close family. She was raised up to respect, care, and give back to others.

    When you hear the word LOVE, it can mean many different things. I look at Aisha’s word love in her story as:

    L = Letting
    O = Others have
    V = Victory at my
    E = Expense

    Aisha is going to be an outstanding family medicine doctor because she is going to let her patients be victorious no matter what it takes at her expense. It might be a special huge, a friendly smile, or a prescription that saves a mother’s child life.

  7. David Green, Jr.

    The country added another outstanding doctor to it’s roll. Very excited about your accomplishments. Glad I met you in AIm.

  8. Aisha will be an outstanding doctor. She has always been a caring individual. One who believes and does the right thing. She is one who one would say, has this intriguing mind. Always wanting to get to the root cause of whatever the situation may be. She’s inquisitive, loving and daring. I love my niece so very much!

  9. Hi Aisha, it sounds like Family Medicine is a perfect fit for you. I was unaware that community centers had so many resources, I wonder how to locate them in my community and what the criteria is to be a patient there. I’m very apprehensive about getting a new doctor since I left my pediatrician for 21 years. I would like doctors who I could see throughout my different transition stages too, because it helps foster trust to make the changes that doctors advise. Keep up the great work.

  10. Antoinette Smith

    Thank you for your willingness to support the community.

  11. Aisha is such an amazing woman and an inspiration. She started out as my mentor during my freshman year in college and quickly became a great friend. Aisha was one of the first people to tell me the words, “never settle”. These words have stuck with me since that NSBE study jam in Pierpont and I absolutely love and admire that she lives by these words. Aisha is so passionate, so committed, and unrelenting in her goals and continues to inspire me to “never settle”. It’s truly a beautiful thing when you see people doing what they love and living their truth and their dreams.

  12. What an awesome Doctor you will be.

  13. Your patients will be very luck to have Doc like you. Good Luck to you and may the Dear Lord Bless You.

  14. Richard J. Sorcinelli, M.D. M'80

    You go girl!! Hoya Saxa! GUMS ’80 Internal Medicine/Primary Care

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