Francesco Pappalardo.

Project Healthcare - New York, NY

Project Description

Preston Public Interest Career Fund Recipient

Frankie is on Bowdoin’s pre-med track and intends to become a doctor. However, “coming from a small town in Maine, one of the least diverse states in the country, I knew how little of the world I had experienced” and how that meager experience could limit his interactions with patients. Frankie put his studies into practice and worked with a diverse population at Project Healthcare, a student volunteer program at the Bellevue Hospital Emergency Department. Importantly to Frankie, “the Project Healthcare program emphasizes patient advocacy and encourages interns to form relationships with patients and their families.”

Frankie conducted rotations in areas throughout the Emergency Department. “Each shift I would go around and survey my respective area. I would see who was sleeping, who had visitors, who spoke English and who did not.” He used his Spanish skills to communicate with many patients who spoke little or no English, often learning about their experiences immigrating to the US and seeking to provide for their families.

Frankie’s time at Bellevue made him a more conscientious and empathetic person. “I interacted with patients from all walks of life. I see the world much differently today because of these interactions.” The experience also illustrated the challenges of serving in the medical field long-term: “There were doctors who tried to persuade me to reconsider what I was getting into…to cut my losses and consider other fields. However, there were just as many doctors who loved what they did and assured me the grind was all worth it.” Thanks to his time at Project Healthcare, Frankie knows that a career in medicine will be truly rewarding and worthwhile.

Project Details

  • Date July 19, 2016
  • Tags 2016, Healthcare, Preston, Sophomore, USA

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