Early in my first year, I emailed Dr. [David] Milling about my desire to start a program to help the area’s less fortunate. This led to the birth of the UB HEALS street medicine program. Dr. Milling showed me how to become a leader, helped me establish connections within the community and expanded the mentorship base by recruiting more faculty-physicians to the program. There is nothing glamorous about homeless health care. It is very difficult and tiring work, so to have faculty willing to work with us and help advance the mission really speaks to the true passion that exists here within UB.
The opportunity to apply what I was learning in the classroom to the actual practice of medicine in the very first year. I knew that I wanted to serve those in poverty in some capacity while in medical school, but I would never have imagined that the school would be so supportive of my goals and allow me to fully explore my vision. Having the support of faculty to explore medicine beyond just words in a textbook at this early stage of my training is invaluable.
The mentorship we receive from the faculty is amazing. I remember asking a lot of basic questions during my first semester. My faculty mentors displayed great patience with me. They answered all my questions and followed up through conversations with me. They also were willing to dedicate extra time to work with me and help me advance my education.
The opportunity that is available. To me, opportunity is having a group of people willing to see something through and willing to fight for the best possible outcome. This is what I see the most of in Western New York.
I would say that medicine is medicine: No matter where you go you will likely be learning the same or similar information. Mentorship, opportunity and the ability to thrive is what makes UB a special place to complete your medical education.