Patch Adams And Her Influence On My Medical Career

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Hippocrates once said, “Wherever the art of Medicine is loved, there is also a love of Humanity”, and I have always kept this message in mind. However, when I entered UP College of Medicine, I was concerned that my empathy would make me overly involved with my future patients. While passing through the halls of PGH on my way to class, I was puzzled if I would soon have to become desensitized to all the obstacles and complications I would encounter each day, master how to keep a tight rein on my emotions at the door, and focus on “healing” my patients. And yet thinking about the name of our program, Integrated Liberal Arts and Medicine (INTARMED), I got the third degree about the word “healing” – if I were to completely separate my feelings, emotions, and beliefs from the patient, his/her family, and the scenario, am I still healing the patient or am I merely treating the disease? Indeed, healing is an art. The relationship between medical art and science is quickly evolving, with science conquering art. However, as future physicians, we should be healers, not robots. While gaining the science of medicine, we should not be losing its art.

While watching the film Patch Adams, I was able to resonate deeply with the protagonist for my life also has its own hardships and misery yet my intense enthusiasm to serve the underserved remains. Patch also showed a great sense of leadership by challenging the system and enabling others to act. The film thought me about creativity, drive, and motivation – things that are dear to me, yet I began to lose somewhere around LU2. This made me realize how reflecting on our values is a vital part of our lives because our values substantially determine our identity and more importantly still, our values are the source of our motivation for self-improvement. In addition, knowing our values and where we stand makes it easier for us to prioritize our goals and make decisions in both our personal and professional life. Through the various activities we have accomplished, I am now able to describe what keeps me going, what nurtures my personal development, what life aspects I need to work on, and ultimately, my own definition of success. Furthermore, I am beyond grateful for every person I have met, every hardships I went through, and all the changes I have gone through, for these people and experiences molded my values and allowed me to flourish into who I am today.

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Now that I am in the first stage of my medical career, it is essential to learn what values I hold dear but the challenging part is to implement it on practice. The values workshop taught me that I value service and humanity and it is something that I hope to never forget as a doctor. The art of medicine is about providing care to people and this means keeping in mind that behind every patient is a real human being. We should not focus on the patients’ illnesses but also on the patients themselves. Healing requires more than just the memorization of facts and figures; it requires humanity, it requires us to care because only when we look beyond the patient and see the person can we make a difference as a doctor.


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