Name: Shruti Vyas
School: Barry University School of Podiatric Medicine
Hometown: Queens, NY
Undergraduate school and degree(s): Stony Brook University: BS, Biology
Challenges and Changes during my First Semester, February 2015
Why did you choose podiatry?
Podiatry is a field of medicine that is not widely recognized around the world. My decision to pursue podiatric medicine was influenced by a personal tragedy I experienced toward the end of my undergraduate career. My grandfather was a type II diabetic patient in India suffering from diabetic neuropathy and ulcers. Due to the absence of podiatric medicine, he was treated for his ulcers without the aid of anesthesia. In a few months, his heart failed and he whispered his last goodbyes. After his departure, I dedicated my time to learn more about this specialty by shadowing several doctors. I fell in love with podiatric medicine while shadowing Dr. Rahul Patel in Manhattan. I observed patients walking into his clinic in immense pain and leaving with smiles on their faces. Dr. Patel not only provided his expert advice on respective medical issues but also explained the diagnosis in a manner that both the patient and I could understand. I was fortunate to be able to witness the numerous ways in which podiatric medicine improved human life. I learned that feet are one of the most neglected parts of our bodies and when they do not perform their jobs, we become immobile. I chose podiatric medicine because it gives the doctor an immediate sense of satisfaction of helping a patient regain his or her independence.
What is the biggest surprise/challenge about podiatry school so far?
Charles Darwin once said, “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent. It is the one that is most adaptable to change.” The transition from New York to Florida and the transition from undergraduate workload to podiatry school workload has been one of the most challenging aspects of podiatry school thus far. As the school year began, it was slightly difficult to adapt to the workload and handle the amount of information being exposed to us from every subject. Time management was one of the major challenges I encountered as I learned to take care of myself as well as allocate enough time for each subject. I realized that cramming and procrastinating would not be beneficial for me to excel as a student and as a future doctor. I learned to distribute my time on each subject every day so that I could review the material as the exams approached. As my adaptation to the new environment and the circumstances ameliorated, I noticed progress in both my grades as well as my extracurricular activities.
Where do you see yourself in 2040?
The most important aspect about being human is the ability to connect with another human being. This connection can be made through culture, language, religion, or even hobbies. However, it is difficult to form these types of connections with those who do not share any of these similarities. As a podiatrist in the year 2040, I hope to make the connection of love, compassion, and podiatric care with those who are in need of this assistance. I envision myself to be a founder of an organization that provides podiatric medical aid to patients around the world. I hope to make use of my podiatric medical experiences and education and be able to provide relief for those who do not have the necessary resources.
What is something surprising about you?
As a first-year student in podiatry school, I have noticed that training your mind to think positively plays a key role in maintaining sanity and performing well in school. Negative thoughts are eager to build a home in your head, and it is sometimes difficult to evict them from your mind. Throughout the semester, I have noticed myself fall victim to these thoughts. However, the acknowledgement of this notion has allowed me to remove them and maintain my strength as I overcome each obstacle. My understanding of my mind and my ability to invoke positive thoughts has pleasantly surprised me. I know this strength will be even more valuable when I am faced with greater challenges in the future.