I never would have thought that my undergraduate years would have had such a great impact on my personality. Even though those years grew me as a person I held close to my passions: medicine and photography. Though my interest in medicine began from unfortunate events in my family, it has continued to grow constantly as I have honed life skills through personal experiences, science, and photography. I only recently realized how photography, a practice that has helped me unwind from my heavy course loads, has led me to choose medicine as a career. Over the last seven years, I have found great resemblance in photography and medicine, which only strengthened my interest in the medical field.
Street photography, my favorite discipline to shoot, exposed me to a variety of different emotions and perspectives while capturing moments of how people interact with the environment. Being born in Greece and raised in Albania, I was exposed to different cultures and languages my entire life which informed me during my transition to study in the United States. While the culture shock was immense, my worldly background enabled me to view this experience as a positive event, and I profited greatly from it and learned more about the U.S. culture.
I was exposed to different cultures and languages my entire life
As a F1 visa holder, I was not offered as many opportunities for clinical experience as my U.S. citizen peers, one of many being medical scribing. At first, I found it to be a disadvantage, but in fact, it proved otherwise. I adjusted my perspective on what I thought was a disadvantage and recognized that it actually allowed me more time to dedicate to my community. In this way, I became the Founding Treasurer for Colleges Against Cancer, an organization committed to educating university students about cancer patients. I volunteered for many club events including various fundraising/awareness walks. These experiences made my college experience unparalleled. Similar to adjusting light and darkness for the perfect picture, my college experience epitomized my personal ability to adjust, adapt, and even achieve in seemingly non-ideal scenarios.
My unique background, both in culture and photography, though being as important as my science preparation, has helped me uncover some of the attributes I believe a doctor, but also any profession, should possess: diagnostician abilities, a worldly view, and the ability to adjust. Hippocrates stated that “wherever the art of Medicine is loved, there is also a love of Humanity,” and for myself, the passion for the art of medicine has been strengthened through another art: photography.
New York College of Podiatric Medicine, Class of 2024