Mary: Community Service

What extracurricular activities have you been involved with during your time in school? How has it made an impact on your life and in the community?

The first activity that has had an impact on my life has been doing community service at a homeless shelter in Phoenix. As student volunteers, we are able to work up patients and come up with treatment plans to execute. For the patients we are serving, I would like to believe that I have made a positive impact on the health of their feet and in addressing any concerns they have had. This experience has impacted me because these people have been my first patients. They have been so patient and kind in allowing me to become comfortable in a more “work like” environment and that has helped me gain confidence in my abilities. Serving at these clinics has also taught me that I am able to make a positive impact on someone’s health even though I may not have the top of the line equipment on hand. This has contributed to my personal growth as a provider, in that I have realized that I do not have to do fancy surgeries or have all of the imaging modalities to make a difference. I am now continuously reminded to view a treatment plan from a conservative approach first. My participation at the homeless clinic has also made me aware that I could be a part of providing treatment at a local homeless clinic in the future when I am a practicing physician because there will always be a need.

The second activity that I have been involved in that has positively impacted me on campus has been my participation in intramurals. During undergrad, our team competed in flag football, volleyball, and slow-pitch softball. Although this may not be directly related to podiatry, having dedicated time to take a break from studying has increased my focus on my schoolwork. This has also been a great way for me to bond with my classmates/teammates on a more personal level and creates those friendships which will be invaluable throughout life. I believe that participating in intramurals has made a positive impact on my personal growth by making me more into a well-rounded individual. Not only am I able to focus on my schoolwork because I know I need to be done studying before we play that night, but the activity promotes a healthy and active lifestyle.

Mary Alderson

Arizona College of Podiatric Medicine