Rehan Razzaq remembers one of her first interactions with a patient while volunteering at the UVA Hospital. She was sitting with the parents of a blind 12-year old boy with stomach disorders and a genetic condition that left the child with development disabilities. Rehan says music helped the young boy with his diagnoses.
“I sat there with his parents, and was supposed to be there for 10 minutes,” Rehan remembers. “I ended up staying for 2 hours playing music while he’d laugh.”
She recalls the young patients’ parents crying as they told Rehan his story — how they adopted the boy from an abusive foster family and that he was “everything” to them. It was an emotional few hours, Rehan says, filled with “small moments” that have made a lasting impact.
Now in her fourth year at UVA, Rehan serves as one of the Program Directors for Medical Services and helps manage some of the 600 student volunteers who participate in the program.
She’s currently studying Economics and Biology, and is applying to medical schools that offer dual MD-MBA programs with a focus on pediatric care — a pursuit and path that Rehan largely credits to her time spent volunteering with Medical Services.
“I want to learn about the accessibility of different resources for different people and how that impacts healthcare."
Image: Rehan with fellow Program Directors at the Spring 2017 Program Director Summit.
“I’m interested in the inequality between different social groups and races,” Rehan says, who grew up in a small town in southwestern Virginia with a population that is 95% white. “I want to learn about the accessibility of different resources for different people and how that impacts healthcare.”
Medical Services volunteers like Rehan serve weekly shifts at local healthcare organizations like the Charlottesville Free Clinic, and hospital departments at the UVA Health System and Martha Jefferson Hospital — all sites that Rehan has volunteered with in the past.
Image: Medical Services Head Program Directors and Program Directors
Total service hours during The
2016-2017 academic year:
Economic value of Madison House 2016-2017 service hours:
Community partner organizations:
Charlottesville Free Clinics
Martha Jefferson Hospital
New Century Hospice
UVA Health System
3-hour weekly shifts during the academic year
More than once, Rehan says her experiences at each of these volunteer sites have been humbling and meaningful to her growth as a student, empathetic individual, and future healthcare professional.
Rehan has met children from all backgrounds and with illnesses ranging from heart disease to brain cancer, refugees from around the world who have encouraged and supported her, newborns she played a role in helping to deliver, and nurses who have taught her important medical terminology and hospital administration skills.
Rehan has met children with a range of illnesses,
refugees from around the world, newborns she helped deliver, and nurses who have taught her important hospital administration skills.
Image: UVA School of Medicine
Volunteering also helped Rehan learn life skills like communication, time management, organization, interpreting subtle body language and working effectively with others — all invaluable skills to take into the healthcare field.
She remembers initially feeling stressed and timid in hospital settings, and hesitant around strangers like doctors and patients. After three years of volunteering, Rehan says all that has changed.
“I can manage my stress better, and my outlook on life has changed through all the people I’ve talked to. I realized that I took a lot of things for granted,” says Rehan. “Whatever medical field I go into, I want to be constantly surrounded by other people. I want to impact people in some way.”
"Whatever medical field I go into, I want to be constantly surrounded by other people. I want to impact people in some way."