Student Life

Quick, what does a scientist look like? Picture it in your mind — don’t overthink it. What are they wearing? What's their gender? The color of their skin? If you aren’t all that happy with what popped into your head, it’s understandable.

“I grew up all over the world, but I’ve somehow always lived in the Bay Area on and off. My first exposure to nursing was at a high school career fair; I then decided to shadow different nursing professions.

“If someone told my 7th grade self, who would regularly puke in the school bathroom between classes, that I would someday be a student at a health professional school, there’s absolutely no way I would have believed them.” As a UCSF student who struggled with anorexia and anxiety disorder, “Taylor” (the student’s name has been changed for privacy) is one of many at UCSF who identify as having a disability.

“I've never made a penny being a doctor, so that makes it not a job. My sense of a doctor is that one is a presence caring for health. So I'm never not a doctor. People call me from all over the world who are hurting, and I care for them.

“Finishing my summer dental research project feels so good! While I am the editor-in-chief for the dental research newsletter and have years of research experience under my belt, I still don’t feel like a confident researcher.

If you live in the United States for so long it’s difficult to imagine a world where we are not the center. Staying in Chengdu, China challenged this notion and presented me with a very different reality.
I was an instructor at a nursing college while living in Thailand several years ago. The experience my students and I gained was valuable and priceless. I felt that we exposed the students to the real world — a clinic without borders. It was a purposeful and meaningful experience for everyone involved.
Many, if not all, of us are constantly trying to attain work-life balance, but in this day and age we all have so many things to juggle. In addition to work we have relationships to tend to, side projects to amuse and challenge us, and the extra hours of sleep we wish we were getting. We think a work-life balance will fix all of our problems, but try as we may, it often seems impossible to attain the balance we desire.

“It's crazy to think this place has been my home for the past four years. So much learning and growth, as well as patient care, have been achieved in these cubicles. I saw my very last patient at UCSF Dental Clinic this past Thursday.

UCSF campuses are springing back to life with the arrival of students both new and seasoned. Once dormant hallways are filled with a buzz of excitement. Brightly colored flyers for seminars decorate recently blank walls. And the lunch line at Ladle and Leaf is out of control. The influx of students not only means that campus is busier, but also signifies the return of student voices.