Columbia University - College of Physicians and Surgeons
Why Medical School?
I was only a child when I was due for my first surgery. In France at the time, I had developed a severe nasal congestion that would not relent despite various medical treatments. My mother took me to the doctors once more, and it was then that they told her that my problem was not due to any seasonal cold or flu, but was rather due to inflammation of my adenoids. At the time I did not know what this meant; all I knew was that I would have to be in the hospital for several days away from my family for some sort of operation. I was terrified.
When I was admitted to the hospital, I remember waking up at night from nightmares about the operation to come, and as the nurses pushed my bed to the operating room I looked at them hoping to glean an understanding of what was to come. Upon reaching the operating room and seeing the doctors in masks however, I suddenly felt at ease. As they spoke to me calmly and cheerfully, cracking jokes as they gently attached strange wires to my body, I remember all my worries drifting away. Then one of the doctors invited me to blow a certain balloon and placed a strange mask on my mouth. I did so eagerly and found myself drifting into a sweet sleep, concerned only that the balloon I was supposed to...
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