I am extremely grateful for my year in the AmeriCorps because it has provided me with numerous tools and experiences that I can use in the future. Mainly, I serve patients who are diabetic or obese and need to learn how to change their habits in order to improve their health. This position has given me the chance to help underserved populations and observe the struggles of making change habitual.
However, I believe the biggest asset that I have gained this year is the ability to work through complex or upsetting challenges, whether it is working with a person that has limited resources because she can’t leave her house or telling a person they are diabetic. I am able to recognize the barriers to them achieving a goal and investigate community or online resources to help them in their journey.
Recently, I received an email from a low-income patient I had counseled 3 months ago on health and nutrition telling me she has lost 14 lbs. using the program we had developed and that she truly appreciated the continual support she had received from me. This year I have had the opportunity to serve many outstanding patients who want to improve their health but under normal circumstances do no have access to additional preventative care resources, and I have shadowed numerous primary care physicians who have dedicated their time and energy to ensuring that underserved populations get the care they deserve. This year not only inspired me to pursue a public health path in my future, but it also provided me with skills and experiences necessary to serve a community.