By Tolulope I


The Summer Medical Institute (SMI Philly 2020) is over and here I am reminiscing on the experiences I gained throughout the course of the program. The image of paintings on the wall of the conference room where I worked still lingers in my memory. It was of keen interest to me probably because I sat across from it and stared too deeply at it, until I interpreted and connected these art works to images of microorganisms under the microscope. It’s a perfect description of what I see under the microscope in my Bio lab at school!

My task during the SMI was to work on Missed Patient Registrations, and this involves calling patients, explaining what the process entails, why it has to be completed and walking them through the sign up. I never knew phone communication can feel very uneasy, especially at first, when compared to an in-person meeting. However, the good thing is that I gained skills to communicate more effectively over the phone. Having people share their stories while completing the steps and me listening attentively while trying to encourage them was fulfilling.

My most cherished and memorable experience was shadowing the Chaplain of Esperanza Health Center. It was a revealing moment as I met God in a whole new way: through communicating and praying with people; it was then I realized that conversations about spiritual health and praying for patients is so powerful.

I personally feel that my life was truly impacted by this. It is a privilege to be able to hear people share their struggles, experiences, what they are grateful for, and to know that these patients we serve are also a source of motivation for us. It’s a great privilege to be a Christian healthcare worker. I’m happy to learn how to integrate my faith in God into my career, and it’s even more encouraging to see other Christian healthcare workers doing the same thing. This tells me that I am not alone in this journey.

All of these experiences meant a lot me and I feel so connected to Esperanza Health Center and to the neighborhood. All the staff members are warm and welcoming.