Did you know what you wanted to be when you were a kid? Joy Mason did. Ever since she dressed up as a surgeon at age 3, Mason was determined to pursue a career in health care.
Three years later, the Ohio native was admitted to University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital with a bad case of pneumonia. “It influenced my career path in a way,” said Mason, who was determined to work with children.
Nothing has changed for the second-year cognitive science major who is currently in a pre-med track with hopes of one day becoming a pediatric cardiovascular surgeon.
“One of the most important aspects of medicine is patient interaction,” she said. “Being a volunteer, you get to see how the patients respond to their treatment or respond to the people they interact with. I think it’s really important to get the perspective beforehand because once you get into medical school, it’s a whirlwind.”
That’s why Mason has clocked over 700+ hours as a volunteer in multiple hospital settings before she’s had the chance to get into med school.
“There is a stereotype that surgeons don’t always have the best bedside manner, and that’s not something I want. I really want to make those connections with patients.”
After Mason had the chance to interact with two infants as a volunteer for University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital during her first year at Case Western Reserve University, her career aspirations were cemented.
“Those two incidents allowed me to really see how medicine is so much more than just taking care of people,” she said. “When you’re in the medical field, it’s not just about treating [patients] and diagnosing them, it’s also about taking into account the conditions they live in outside of the hospital that’s affecting their [health].”
Mason encourages others to get involved with volunteer opportunities at CWRU.
“Through CCEL—the Center for Civic Engagement and Learning—there are so many opportunities to pursue your interests.”
In our new Spartan Showcase series, we’ll be highlighting outstanding students in the Case Western Reserve University community every other Monday. Know about a student we should feature? Tell us about them using The Daily‘s submission form (select Student Profile).