- Sep 1, 2015
- Medical Student
I wasn't really sure how to phrase the title, but I have a dilemma. I volunteered with a hospice organization every week for about a year. I had a significant amount of patient contact with this organization. However, I found the experience to be really difficult for me. Every patient I was assigned was severely demented and most were unable to speak, feed themselves, etc. I couldn't help but picture the people I loved coming to similar ends, and I found myself pretty depressed after each visit. I have logged many hours of other clinical experiences such as shadowing and scribing, and these do not have the same effect on me, even in the 'heavier' fields like oncology. I feel like perhaps through the hospice organization I figured out that palliative care is not for me. However, I'm scared of putting this experience on my app because I feel like ad coms could construe this as me not being a good fit for medicine. I strongly do not think that this is the case, I think that I specifically am a poor fit for palliative care/degenerative disease care, because shifting my definition of hope to purely "death with dignity" is not the aspect of medicine I want to pursue, I would much rather work in a field where I can significantly impact someone's quality of life while they are still mentally present enough to enjoy it, not just make them comfortable for the inevitable end. Should I include this experience in my app or not? And if I do...what do I say about it?