Gabriela Martin submitted 2020-05-08

My name is Gabriela Martin. I am a senior Sports Medicine major and Chemistry minor at Howard University from New York. I am currently taking the necessary steps to become a Paramedic but the end goal is to have my Masters in Public Health and Doctorate as a Physician’s Assistant. I knew that I wanted to work in the medical profession from the age of 8 years old and my goals and dream haven’t changed. I am a gay black woman trying to make it in a field of predominantly cis white men and I will make a difference in the lives of many. I will accept nothing less from myself because I know that I have the power within me to achieve this. Coming from parents of Jamaican and Cuban decent and seeing how their far their hard work has taken them I expect nothing less of myself. I hope that I can be a useful asset especially for students who are likeminded and come from similar backgrounds and have similar experiences.

Being an emergency medical professional is a stressful career. As I embarked on getting my Emergency Medical Technician Certification I realized that it was a lot more stressful mentally and physically than anticipated. After getting certified I finally realized why I wanted so badly to get into the medical profession and that was the help my community. It is a very rewarding career but I knew that I wasn’t doing it just for myself. I was doing it for a calling within me.

The mental health of medical professionals is tested on a daily basis. I have learned from many professors that to be helpful to your patients you have to be healthy yourself. Therapy has helped me personally with issues or concerns that I have had since I became a medical student and EMT. Just as we are meant to be there for patients and their needs, there are people who are available for our welfare and personal needs. Every person deals with hardships in life. Every person needs support including health care professionals and that is why I am such a big advocate for Therapy and how helpful it is. I am blessed to come from a family of medical professionals from Physical Therapists and Occupational Therapists to Nurses to Physicians Assistants. Being exposed to the medical world from a young age solidified my choice in career path but also shed light on some of the horrors that they face and how they overcome them. They are some of my biggest supporters because they see how dedicated I am to this choice and career path.

I have worked in many fields since I was 15 years old. No job is small and meaningless. I have learned things from every single one but the biggest take away from them all was patience. That is something that could make or break your ability to do your job to the best of your abilities. Every person is different. We each have different needs and limitations. Being an emergency medical professional to me means that you are willing to put your patients’ needs to the top of your list. Doing everything in your power to accommodate and assist them. They come to us for help, we go to school and go through training so that we will have all the necessary tools to help them and that is what I intend to do. It needs to be a selfless job. There are certain courses that I deemed necessary to take and give my full attention to outside of my core classes. Those were psychology, philosophy and my EMT course. A big part of being a medical professional is communicating with patients on a daily basis. Making sure they are healthy not only physically but mentally and being able to have open conversations with them. Having the ability to understand patients with needs across the board. Building up my knowledge on disabilities and how to maneuver individuals who need more assistance than normal.

I realized at a young age that to be the best I can be I needed to invest more time and get the most hands on experience possible. It takes you solely out of the books and classroom and puts you in real life situations. I recommend that any student that hopes to go into the medical profession to at least attempt to become an EMT for experience. Having that exposure will help a student realize if they are truly prepared for the hard work and stressful environment of working in the medical field.