All you need to study Medicine is…love!

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Four years ago Taylor had to make an important decision. She decided to follow her heart. That’s why she came from the United States to study Medicine here. To study what she’s passionate about in a more down-to-earth place. Where she can enjoy helping, comforting and connecting with people. To do things that reflect her nice personality and a determined, beautiful soul.

A photo of a student in the faculty of Health Sciences.

A question you’ve probably heard many times… Why Valencia and not the United States?

Actually, at first I was thinking about studying Medicine in the United States. Everything changed after I graduated from college and took a gap year during which I was studying and working in the hospitals in Canary Islands. I truly enjoyed being there! I’ve always loved Spain and its culture. Moreover, I’ve studied Spanish for my undergraduate degree, so I decided to kind of combine everything I was passionate about. And… here I am!

And what does it feel like studying here and living in Valencia?

I love it! My studies are good, I honestly feel that I’m learning a whole lot more here in comparison to my friends who are studying Medicine in the States. I know, most people might not understand why I am in Spain. However, I love the culture and the lifestyle here. It’s slower, you are getting to study what you’re passionate about instead of just getting a job and making money which is a lot how it feels in the US. It may not be totally the same to everybody but it’s the way I felt. In the US there’s no down time, there’s no enjoyment. It seems that you’re working on a machine instead of a person. I really like how empathetic it is here.

“Even though studying Medicine might be extremely hard, knowing that I’m helping in some way or at least providing some comfort to someone in need makes it worth it”

Maybe interaction with people is what excites you most about Medicine?

I like helping people and getting to know a patient more than anything. In my rotations being in the surgery room I’ve noticed how much I loved doing surgery but yet how much I was missing that connection with a patient. I think that’s what I love about oncology.
Even though studying Medicine might be extremely hard, knowing that I’m helping in some way or at least providing some comfort to someone in need makes it worth it.

What qualities do you look for in a doctor?

Compassion, kindness and smartness. Of course, a doctor must have a lot of knowledge but the most important thing is being able to comfort the patient and to really connect with them, make them feel at home with you. Besides, I think it is essential to explain to the patient in a common language of what’s happening with their body.

A portrait of a student.

Do you have any family members or role models who are doctors?

Actually, I am the first one in my family to go into Medicine. However, my parents have always been my role models because of their work ethics. Since my mom started off being a biomedical engineer, I’m always very excited to share my experience with her. I know it sounds so cheesy but my mom has always been my biggest fan and I’m her biggest fan too. Even though I have favorite professors, I’m that kind of person that doesn’t want to copy anyone. However, I like being challenged! Back in college I had a professor who highly doubted my chances of getting into a medical school. And here I am and I’m doing it in a different language!

What do you believe to be some of the most pressing health issues today?

I’m actually really concerned about the situation of health system in the US. I think it’s really wrong that not everybody has the right to health and the worst part is that I don’t know how to fix it. The only thing I’m sure about is that providing service at a reasonable cost is absolutely imperative to the betterment of our health system.

“In economic view you are losing but I don’t think you’re ever losing if you make somebody’s life better”

Unfortunately, I guess the health system is one of those where you keep investing and your patients might not be around the entire time… So technically, in economic view you are losing but I don’t think you’re ever losing if you make somebody’s life better.

Have you ever done any volunteer work?

Back home I was very involved with an organization called Delta Cotton Belles which is a charity foundation that provides treatment for breast cancer patients. In the US we don’t have a universal health system so there are many women who don’t have health insurance and can’t get a breast exam.

We still haven’t figured out the reason but in Greenville the rates of breast cancer are extremely high. Last year we took a group of people here from Spain, went to my hometown and did a week of clinics and scanning there. It was a really nice experience.

Within the past years Hispanic population has really grown and there are women who don’t speak any English. As I said, I believe it is essential to explain to the patient their condition and the process of treatment. That’s why it was so nice that they could receive help and explain their problems in their native language.

A photo of students doing volunteer work.
Taylor with her friends in Greenville. Volunteering for Delta Cotton Belles.

What are you going to do after finishing your studies? Are you coming back home?

I still don’t know where I want to specialize. Going into Medicine I thought I would definitely do a field related to the heart. However, after last year which was full of cardiology and neurology I changed my mind. What interests me most is oncology. I had a rotation in that for external practices and really enjoyed it. I was drained after a week there but I was so excited too.

I’m not sure if I’m coming back to the United States. It definitely depends on how my life evolves here. Anyway, I still have two years and I’m still deciding.

If you were granted one wish to make the world a better place?..

I would improve the health system in the US or anywhere in the world. Just to make sure that everybody has the right to health. That should be obvious, you have the right to live and be healthy. Also, I wish everybody were more tolerant to each other… We’re all just trying to live and that shouldn’t be a crime.

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