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Leadership ALE Spring Reflection

Within the Discipline


During my spring semester I took a psychology course studying the brain and
the explanations of why humans act like they do. From my course I have
developed a tolerance for the behaviors of individuals because I have learned
that there can be underlying issues that influence the way peoples react.
Psychology taught me how to understand what residents are feeling and how
to facilitate residents interpret their own feelings. Also all my psychology
tests are online and timed. Having time restrictions and adjusting to online-
orchestrated test has taught me patience and time management. Additionally
this semester I took microbiology and organic chemistry two. Both of these
courses contain lots of critical information. Having attention to detail is
imperative to my success as well as time intensive to gain an efficient
understanding of major concepts. Time management paired becoming detail
oriented has been extremely beneficial when I am interacting with residents
and will be advantageous for my future in a medical profession when I am
working with patients to recognize illness.

Beyond the Discipline


Presenting my research at a conference and being the maid of honor for my
best friend has provided me with great opportunities, but the experience
caused me to miss a few days of class. I have evolved my communication
skills by connecting to professors and faculty to inform them about my
absences and when I needed clarity for complex topics. As a result of missing
class I have also improved my skills of responsibility in order to finish missed
projects or in being humble enough to ask for extensions. These skills I have
enhanced will better me for the real world because our world is full of people.
Being able to effectively communicate with individuals can be applied my
career in the medical field because I will need to talk with my staff and
patients to provide the best care.

Beyond Academics
Cultural exposure this semester has increased immensely during this spring
semester. Through food and friendship I have had a taste of cultures I would
not have had an opportunity to have if it were not for my leadership role. For
example I have gotten very close to one of my residents girlfriends and I was
invited to go home with her. Her family is more liberal than mine and through
my visit I obtained a new perspective into life and opened myself to trying
new foods like sushi and Japanese cuisine. This experimentation connects
with my role as a student because I am aware that there is more to college
than academics. Prior to my worldly expansion I had been focused solely on
attending one specific medical school whereas now I am considering multiple
options I would not have before.

Interconnectedness
By being detailed oriented allowed me to I got to know my residents and my
community. This was especially valuable because in order to guide my
residents to success I had to make sure they were at their bests. I made sure
to notice any small differences in psychological ways or in personality
changes. By staying aware I could protect others from being a negative
influence on the hall or on to themselves. In speaking to residents about their
lives or feelings I formed quality relationships with residents in and outside
the hall. A good example of this was when one of my residents girlfriends
confided in me when the couple broke up and she was fearful for him with life
without her. The only reason I was in loop because my resident was
comfortable with me. Even though I had my busy schedule, I invested time to
keep up with both residents and the relationship. With him having a hard past
and me learning about these new burdens I learned not to judge people for
the way they cope, but instead try to understand and consider both sides of
the story.

Global Awareness
From where I understood my residents I can rationalize the other side of
protests because I now can empathize with both sides. I am also able to
grasp different perspectives from other types of worlds and appreciate other
ethnicities. Coming from a remote area being a residential leader gave me
the opportunity to see past my own bias to value divergent perspectives and
consider different takes on issues. I am also more aware of the presence of
the rest of the world and how acutely unaware I was before. Something as
simple as trying new cuisine has I removed any close-mindedness I had and
enabled me to reflect on life in ways I would have never thought of. Now I
have increased my willingness to talk to residents simply out of curiosity of
who they are.

Broader Implications
My perspectives have changed many times this semester. Abortion is a
touchy subject for everyone. People have their own opinions. Myself for
example I only every saw abortion appropriate for medical situation when the
child would not be able to survive outside of the mother. However I had a
change of heart when one of my residents was in a situation herself. I acted
as her confident and main supporter when she first found out about the
pregnancy. As the situation progressed she began to ask herself and question
the implications of an abortion. Remaining unbiased and only being
supported I helped her get connected to professional resources while the
whole time I was facing her reality of choosing to get an abortion. Internally I
began to consider the quality of life for child and the parent alike and I
needed to realize what is best for everyone was not what I thought. I came to
the conclusion that in the long scheme of things I needed to truly realize the
implications that either choice would result in. I view abortion differently now
than I did before my time as a residential leader. I could not become a great
physician if I did not have more instances like this where my ideas are
challenged and I have to think about all the options and remain unbiased.