Life Is Not About Getting The Answers Right
When people ask me what I studied in college, they usually don’t expect me to say that I majored in psychology and double minored in creative writing and dance — especially for a graduate student in the health professions.
No matter the discipline, professors at Hamilton constantly asked me “Why?” This has served as a foundation in my critical thinking as an occupational therapy student, researcher, and future healthcare practitioner. I am in my third and final year in the Doctor of Occupational Therapy program at MGH Institute of Health Professions in Boston, Mass.
I began my program two weeks after commencement in 2018. Needless to say, my Hamilton education eased me into this quick transition. Hamilton instilled in me a desire to learn and apply my knowledge, with the question “why” echoing in the back of my head during each new lesson learned in the classroom. This perspective has positively framed my experience in grad school and enhanced my clinical reasoning skills. Additionally, members of the Hamilton Boston community have supported me in my academic endeavors and provided me with support in a city that was once foreign to me. Outside the classroom, I would often explore the streets of Boston with friends from Hamilton, reminiscing and engaging in thought-provoking conversations that were so familiar to us on the Hill.
I recently relocated to Sacramento, Calif. to complete my first clinical rotation at UC Davis Medical Center. I am placed in acute care neurology, primarily working with patients who recently acquired strokes and traumatic brain injuries. Although my academic background differs from many people in the health professions, I find that my liberal arts education has enabled me to examine patients holistically. My education in psychology provided me with knowledge in neurology and the importance of mental health, whereas my background in dance taught me the fundamental components of movement and kinematics. With creative writing, I need to think creatively when treating each patient in a meaningful, client-centered manner. Almost three years after graduation, I continue to ask myself “Why?” and with the guidance of my current clinical instructors and professors who ask me this same question each day, my clinical reasoning deepens.
My Hamilton education has been valuable in my development as a clinical doctoral student. At Hamilton, I discovered that life is not about getting the answers right, but rather searching to understand “why.” I foresee this lifelong lesson will serve as a foundation in my journey as an occupational therapist.