By: Faiyaz Rahman, MS-1
Faiyaz Rahman is a first-year podiatric medical student at New York College of Podiatric Medicine. He is currently an editor for Hallux Magazine.
During my time in medical school, I have been involved in many projects and organizations to not only serve my community, but also become an active member of my society within the healthcare realm. As a clinical research associate at Weill Cornell Medical Center, I was eager to spearhead multiple projects. I coordinated six studies investigating elderly patients who suffered from lower extremity injuries associated with falls. This was important because research on the geriatric population, especially involving lower extremity injuries, is very scarce in the scientific world. I learned that this underrepresentation of such an important and vulnerable population is due to the lack of patient access, common methodological design errors, and lack of proper funding. Despite these obstacles in my work, I learned how to be motivated and always humble. I learned what it meant to take initiative and become a voice for the voiceless, even if it was through something as silent as clinical research. This is a quality I have brought into all facets of life, including my current role as an educator and mentor for the Peer Health Exchange organization (PHE).
I learned what it meant to take initiative and become a voice for the voiceless, even if it was through something as silent as clinical research.
- “How do I confront my mental health?”
- “What are my options if I want to prevent pregnancy and STIs?”
- “How do I communicate and advocate for my health and the people around me?”
These are some of the many questions that I would be asked on a weekly basis while serving as an educator for PHE. As educators for PHE, we partnered with underserved New York City high schools to provide comprehensive health education for teens so they could make informed decisions about their own health. I progressed as a leadership council member in the organization, and in this role, I mentored my peers to improve the quality of education that we offered to our students. We used mini-scenarios and information sessions to achieve this goal.
As a voting Alumni Council Board chair member, I coordinated program improvements and bridged the gaps between management and the students. I served as a conduit between the educators and the board members, which let me see how non-profit health organizations are run from a corporate perspective and how that influences health education and healthcare in a community. I used my position to navigate conversations that addressed the way workshops were taught, administrative and financial concerns from the national headquarters, and how we acquired external organizations that would further promote the message of PHE. I worked with my peers to lead quarterly Alumni and Committee meetings to ensure we were consistently engaging our volunteers. I also assisted with teaching skills evaluations for college leadership council members, program development and also relaying the feedback from the educators, students and high schools back to PHE headquarters. I value PHE because it is a much-needed platform that signifies the importance of dialogue and proper healthcare in improving the health of society. Today, I continue to serve PHE as a mentor for the organization, educators, and faculty alike. I use my experience and knowledge as a PHE alum to teach students the value of advocating for, not only their own health, but also for the health of those around them. I also encourage students to be aware of the socioeconomic realities that surround them and to understand the importance of how they affect individual lives. PHE let me appreciate the value of health education and the importance of empathy for the empowerment of vulnerable populations.
I use my experience and knowledge as a PHE alum to teach students the value of advocating for, not only their own health, but also for the health of those around them.
As I prepare to become a future healthcare provider, I believe I have received a strong foundation that will help me become a better advocate for my future patients. Podiatric Medicine is a much-needed and under-appreciated specialty. As I continue my journey in podiatric medical school, I plan to use my experiences and passion for serving for the community as an anchor for my future medical care. My experiences have made me the person I am today and will allow me to continue growing as a future mentor and healthcare provider.
By Faiyaz Rahman, MS-1
School: New York College of Podiatric Medicine
Support Hallux Magazine’s Writing
Have the urge to write something? Are you motivated to publish something worth sharing? Want to give advice, helpful tips, or podiatry information to the younger generation? Visit our Authors section before submitting. Get in contact with us and one of our student journalists will reach out to you. We hope to get from people around the world that way.