Hi everyone! My name is Cameron Fink and I am from St. Petersburg, Florida. I am a senior in the Bachelor of Health Science program on a pre-medical track. I am currently in the process of applying to master’s programs in the field of medical science to further my education before continuing to medical school with the ultimate goal of becoming a forensic pathologist.
For as long as I can remember, I have wanted a career in the medical field. I started my first semester at the University of Florida planning to pursue a second major in Criminology, but quickly found a passion for forensic pathology, which combines both of my desired fields. All pre-medical students must take the same pre-requisites, but I believe the College of Public Health and Health Professions (PHHP) has greatly impacted my experiences in a unique way. My coursework in the BHS program allows me to think critically about pressing issues in the healthcare field, develop both leadership and therapeutic communication skills, and work collaboratively with students pursuing many different specialties in the healthcare field. These experiences and education have contributed greatly to my development into a well-rounded future physician.
By far, the most meaningful and inspirational group I have been a part of has been the College of PHHP’s Undergraduate Diversity Caucus. In light of the major events that occurred throughout 2020, Dr. Michael Moorhouse brought together a group of students with the goal of facilitating open communication between students, faculty and staff about diversity, equity and inclusion. I believe healthcare providers must work to show empathy for and understand their patients in a context greater than their symptoms. A major part of this is being able to recognize your own implicit biases and maintain a constant dedication to educating yourself about diversity issues. Working alongside other diverse, insightful students to create actionable change in PHHP has been an incredibly rewarding opportunity.
While taking the course Adherence and Self-Management in Pediatric Chronic Illness Populations taught by Dr. Sarah Westen, I was intrigued by the research she was conducting on the biopsychosocial components of the management of type 1 diabetes in pediatric populations. I now work as a research assistant for Dr. Westen, Dr. Driscoll, and Dr. Modi with three studies in pediatric type 1 diabetes focusing on sleep, adherence, and glycemic control, adherence barriers, and hypoglycemia fear in parents. Working with professionals in the field of clinical and health psychology broadens my scope of education and capacity to consider many other important factors that impact the ability of a patient to adhere to their medical treatment.
I found one of my favorite extracurriculars during the fall semester of my sophomore year when I completed the student run First Responder Gator (FRG) course to become a certified Emergency Medical Responder (EMR). I thoroughly enjoyed the way I was able to get hands-on training in the basics of emergency medicine. After having such a great experience with this course, I became a FRG teaching assistant, now finishing my 5th semester as a TA. I am passionate about contributing to the education of other students and have so much fun getting back boarded many times each semester! In response to COVID-19, I was also pushed to develop new ways to make learning engaging on an online platform.
My time here at UF has been more than I could have ever imagined. I never thought I would have the chance to do so much as an undergraduate student and I am so thankful for the opportunities PHHP has given me over the years. The pre-medical path has been far from easy, even leading me to briefly consider alternate medical professions. However, the support I have received from everyone in the Gator Nation in addition to my hands-on involvement has pushed me to pursue my true passion for becoming a physician. Participating as a dancer in Dance Marathon, working as an EMR for the Gator Emergency Medical Response Unit, and shadowing a medical examiner have all been critical experiences that kept up my excitement and drive to reach my end goal.
Shoutout to Dr. Moorhouse for giving me some of the best encouragement I’ve received: “If you show this much excitement about being a doctor then you will be a doctor one day, no matter what your path might look like”. I would love to be able to help someone else in the same way, so please feel free to email me with any questions you might have about anything. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org.