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Looking Forward

Mentor and College-Bound, Two Men Share Their Advice

Dhruv Anand

Rising First-Year at Brown University

Currently working at STAT Medical Care under Dr. James Dugal, and volunteer for the nonprofit Accesslife America, which provides care and resources to children with cancer in India.

To all students who are currently standing where I was not too long ago, my advice is going to sound cliche. By now I’m sure everyone is telling you to think about your future and plan out every detail. I personally wouldn’t go that far, but they have a point. Our futures matter. As the next generation, it is our responsibility to take charge of our lives and avoid squandering our limitless potential. Thus, the biggest piece of advice I can give you is to follow your gut, wherever it may take you. I personally took a lot of time throughout school exploring different paths and discovering my passions. Despite what anyone tells you, our world needs artists and creative thinkers just as much as it needs engineers or doctors. 

Once you find that passion (it’s ok if this takes a while), the next step is to give your all to chasing it. Although I still have much of my career ahead of me, I can attest firsthand to the transformative effects of discipline and a good work ethic on my life so far. Believe me - the world is at your fingertips, you just need to meet it halfway.

Dr. James Dugal

The number one focus of your existence as a physician is your responsibility for your patients’ health and well-being. Health equity for every patient is the gold standard. Your patients come to you at their most vulnerable times of their lives. Confront and eliminate any bias, consciously or subconsciously, that may influence your medical decisions. Always remember how you felt on your first day of taking care of a real patient - the excitement for the opportunity and the fear of making the wrong decision. You will be caring for patients from all walks of life with different ethnicities, religions, and economic backgrounds. Treat everyone as family. Be respectful to the staff of the hospital, cafeteria, janitorial, social workers, and dietitians. Be pleasant and respectful toward the nursing staff because they can help you…. or make your life miserable! Always tell the truth. Do not lie, it is okay to say, “I don’t know.” You are here to learn. You will make mistakes. Work hard, never give up, and dig, dig, dig for an answer to your patients’ diseases. The world of medicine has changed and will keep evolving as you progress in your professional life. You are your patients’ best advocate. Be the advocate for the patient to the hospital, at your state capital’s legislature, and at your specialty association. 

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