Unexpected moments are absolutely one of my favorite things. From unexpected friendly gestures to unexpected days off, those are the things that time and time again keep you chugging along with a smile on your face.
This past spring, I was required to write down goals for a scholarship application (they can now be found here). I always had goals floating around in my head, but never actually complied them in a list. My mentor, Mike Petrella of AOL.com, had encouraged me to place my goals where I could see them everyday. After doing so this summer, I made much progress on my goals and even completed a few.
There was one goal in particular, though, that I had no clue how I would even go about beginning and that was to be "a fundamental participant in creating a medical institution IT system." Wait what? You say...
Let me explain..
This past winter, my mom had to receive surgery on her neck. However, before she could go through with the surgery, she had to get all of her medical records transferred to the hospital. One afternoon, I went with her to pick up a test result DVD from one hospital so it could be transferred to another and then transfer personal doctor records to another hospital. I was appalled by how outdated the medical institution systems were! It's the 21st century! Where is the technology?!
That winter, I was enrolled in an information systems course (EBTM337) and, granted, I may have been on an IT kick, but I was shocked that there was no electronic system in place to facilitate medical record/test result transfers. I then decided that I would help create such a system. I had absolutely no clue how to even begin to take on something like that, and at the time it seemed pretty improbable. How was a sophomore in college going to change an entire medical record system? I received a piece to this puzzle this summer.....
My mom gave me an article to read one day while I was working on my summer class. The article was about a man who was setback by medical record transfers so much that it severely affected timely treatments for his health. Subsequently, he also set a goal for himself: to create an application (MedQB) that anyone can use to easily share medical records....
Can a sign slap you in the face any harder?
After reading the article, it was constantly on my mind. I felt so compelled to get in touch with this guy, but how?
I Googled him, no information. Looked on MedQB's website for a direct email, nothing. Finally, I checked LinkedIn and found his personal site, bingo.. but still no direct contact. With great courage and determination, I sent Mr. Crowley a request to connect and a few days later he accepted AND viewed my profile!
At that point, there was no turning back and I felt that I had to private message him in order to take all possible action to complete my goal.
Long story short, I had a really insightful and successful phone conversation with Mr. Crowley and we're keeping in contact. Hopefully I'll be able to help him and his team with the beta process of their application sometime in the future!
After going through all of this, I couldn't advise these three points enough:
1. Write down all of your goals and aspirations, no matter how far-fetched they seem!
2. If you don't have one already, make a LinkedIn account--it can be an awesome tool for networking.
3. Be courageous and don't be afraid to reach out to someone!