The culture at my site is not what I expected in the slightest. I mean I didn’t really think about what the workplace culture would be like beforehand, but I have been pleasantly surprised by how things work with my site. At work, I feel like a valuable member of the team and I’m treated as an equal, regardless of my age or qualifications, when it comes to contributing ideas. It doesn’t feel like I’m just an intern who would be getting coffee if we were in person because they have instilled a lot of responsibility in me with the tasks I’ve been given. Also, my site mentor is very understanding and seeks out my input on different issues that arise to make me feel included. At first, I was kind of experiencing imposter syndrome from the huge role I’ve been playing within the organization and all the people I’ve been meeting, but as time went on it dwindled away when I thought about how I wouldn’t be given these responsibilities if I couldn’t handle it or if my site didn’t believe I was capable of it. My site is just all-around a supportive environment that makes asking questions easy.
I also enjoy how a lot of our views are the same when it comes to racial inequities or issues pertaining to healthcare. The members of our coalition started making their backgrounds a Black Lives Matter poster and had a meeting dedicated to dialogue around systemic racism. These little, yet so impactful, gestures made my whole week back when the movement first started back up which was an overwhelming time for me personally. It goes back to feeling supported at the place I worked which I haven’t had the best of luck with in the past, so it’s a really nice change of pace. We also talked about implicit bias in one of our group meetings and how it should be apart of the medical school curriculum alongside the science side of it because too many people die because of it and at disproportionate rates in the Black community especially. A lot of things that we think should be common sense to include isn’t so common in the world so we bond over those ideals which makes forming relationships with my site that much easier.