LaBianca Wright (MD '15)
Toward the end of my first year, I participated in a service trip to Port-au-Prince, Haiti. I was working in an outdoor clinic, and I was very scared because I had just finished my first year and I thought to myself, “You don’t have any real clinical experience; how can you help these people?”
But while I was in the clinic one day, I noticed a baby who was about six or seven months old, and it was having trouble breathing. I wasn’t sure exactly what to do, but I knew this patient needed to be seen right away. My attending saw the baby, it received the care it needed, and she told me that I did a good job. In the moment, I felt really good about what happened. I was able to help that baby and recognize that it was really sick, even with my limited medical knowledge. That experience really influenced my decision to go into medicine and pediatrics as a career.
There were several moments throughout my first year when I felt I wouldn’t have been able to get through without the support of my peers, older students, and faculty members. Relying on those people is something that I took with me after graduation and now continue to do in my residency. From the first day I stepped on campus, I knew there was something special at Loyola. Those feelings of family and community were also present at the hospital when I was doing my rotations, and I knew it was something I wanted to keep with me when I was finishing my training.
The students I meet now who are on their rotations are just as smart and dedicated and interested as I felt like me and my classmates were. Some of the teachers are different, and the logistics and technology of how they learn are different. But the core of what makes Loyola great is still there in those first year students—and I think it will be for many years to come.