University of Delaware
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In my experience

The standardized patients program taught me invaluable lessons that I don't believe I could have learned anywhere else. Being a patient in a "hospital room" with all its equipment gave a very realistic sense to the experience.

Perhaps most important is that I will always remember how it felt to be a patient. In medicine, the patient's mood and willingness to cooperate can lead to better diagnosis and treatment. Since we had many nursing and physical therapy students rotate throughout the day, I got to experience many different ways of treatment. Even as an actor and not a real patient, I still felt the difference within me when a nurse, for example, held my hand and asked me how I was doing. I felt like a human being and someone that was cared for.

So I made a decision to spend more time with people who I may one day give care to, so that I can help them to heal with not only medicine but also compassion and love. I have long been interested in the mind-body connection, so I am taking a year off after graduation to travel, to gain a better understanding of people and a better sense of cultural differences. I want to open my eyes to the variation within the world.

After I return, I plan to attend Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia, where I hope to put my new knowledge to good use. — Sepehr Sedigh Haghighat

Editor's Note: Sepehr Sedigh Haghighat graduated from the University of Delaware earlier this year, with a degree in biology and a minor in theatre.