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ATSU Student's 2019 NACHC CHI Experience

Monday, September 16, 2019   (0 Comments)
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Written by: Rebecca Teich-McGoldrick, Third-Year Student at A.T. Still University School of Ostepathic Medicine

 

 

Walking up to the conference hotel in Chicago I had no idea what my experience at the 2019 NACHC CHI was going to be like, but I had worn my leather jacket for some extra confidence. I am a “non-traditional” medical student in that I am both older (33) and I don’t have a science-based undergraduate education. In fact, my bachelor’s is in fine arts so I felt confident in my ability to pin my work to the wall and answer tough questions. I figured that must come in handy.

 

The hotel in Chicago was an enormous maze and the conference itself seemed to fill up about half of it. The expo space was huge arranged like streets of numbered booths complete with a neighborhood map. The poster presentations had been set up in a prominent spot near the entry to the conference. I quickly saw familiar faces of my fellow classmates gathered in the poster space, all preparing for the next day.

 

That moment is when the apprehension melted away and the fun began. That moment is when I realized I was here at this huge, celebratory conference for community health centers, their workers, organizers, staff, and students. I was reunited with school friends and mentors who are scattered across the country to serve the underserved. I was introduced to new faces and names who had come from all parts of the country to lend support and voice to our mission. Moment after moment was filled with inspiration and passion that reconfirmed my commitment to community health.

 

As the next few days unfolded, I heard speakers, both new and old hats to community health, present their thoughts, their works, and their actions with such enthusiasm and courage that it was impossible not to be joyous over the mission of community health centers. The experience was both expansive and humbling knowing that I was a worthwhile contribution to something so much larger than myself and I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to participate. I will leave you with a quote from the esteemed Dr. Barbara Ross-Lee who shared with all of us her wisdom gained from experience - “aspirations for success are necessary to create a path forward.” With these words in mind I will continue to dedicate myself with glee to the aspiration of comprehensive and accessible community health care for all. 

 

 

 

 

 

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