Northwestern Press

Thursday, April 19, 2018
Patrick J. Collins Patrick J. Collins

Orefield resident awarded $2,500 medical scholarship

Thursday, April 12, 2018 by The Press in Local News

The Lehigh County Medical Auxiliary’s Scholarship and Educational Fund of $2,500 was awarded to Patrick J. Collins by The Foundation of the Pennsylvania Medical Society.

Collins, a fourth-year medical student at the University of South Florida College of Medicine, is the son of J. John and Michele Collins of Orefield.

After countless experiences, Collins has concluded his central drive to become an emergency physician is the gratifying feeling he is making a difference.

“It’s a feeling I’ve experienced throughout my emergency medicine rotations this summer, in every procedure I’ve performed, successful resuscitation in which I’ve participated, and interventions I’ve made,” he said.

“The ability to replicate these feelings are what drives my pursuit of a career in emergency medicine. It provides opportunities to turn complaints into diagnoses, and intervene with a variety of treatments and procedures.”

Throughout his professional journey, Collins has experienced a diverse range of specialty areas.

He has worked in internal medicine, pediatrics, obstetrics and genecology, psychiatry, as well as the operating room for surgery.

Collins said although he is grateful for the experiences, none of them are more appealing to him than the setting of an emergency room.

“My first exposure to emergency medicine came the year before I began medical school, when I worked as a scribe in the emergency department at Lehigh Valley Health Network in Allentown,” Collins stated. “It was there that I first experienced the excitement of the field.

“Upon entering medical school, I knew it was an environment I enjoyed.”

Through his medical training, and while participating in the SELECT program at the University of South Florida (which presents students with the opportunity to participate in clinical rotations within the Lehigh Valley Health Network), Collins highlighted one aspect that had a profound impact on him, and one that he intends to carry into his medical practicing in the future.

“The SELECT program exposed me to the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator Profile, a personality assessment. My results matched my quiet and reserved personality.”

Moreover, he identified how those personality traits benefit his relationship with patients.

“Patients seem to enjoy my calming and pleasant demeanor and have commented on my ability to make them feel at ease in stressful situations,” he said.

“In my clinical experience, I’ve found it remarkable how much impact a smile and a few empathetic words can have; a lesson I won’t forget.”

Collins said since emergency departments are ever changing and chaotic, adaptability and a friendly demeanor make all the difference to patients.

While learning about his personality traits and tendencies, Collins also learned to use evidence-based medicine and shared decision making skills.

“I learned how to elicit patients’ values and collaborate with patients to make treatment decisions in the context of these values while incorporating the most up-to-date data available,” Collins stated. “I then practiced these skills in simulated patient experiences.

“The SELECT program has taught me techniques of effective leadership: how to handle conflict, hold crucial conversations, and the importance of situational awareness and emotional intelligence.”

In addition to the SELECT program, Collins pointed out his extracurriculars have benefited him over the years.

“Executive board positions on student interest groups such as the SELECT Program’s Emergency Medicine Interest Group, USF’s Healthcare Improvement Group, the USF Chapter of the American Medical Association’s Medical Student Section and a colloquium on physician leadership presented opportunities to practice working in teams to effectively manage groups,” he said. “All of these abilities, both inherent and learned, will serve me well as an emergency medicine physician, de facto leaders of multidisciplinary teams involving specialist physicians, midlevel providers, nurses, and other supporting staff.”

With all of his education and medical training, Collins has a clear goal in mind for his medical career.

“I will remain committed to practicing patient-centered care and hope to continue to develop my leadership skills in a residency program that emphasizes training in these domains,” he said. “I wish to build upon the foundational knowledge of healthcare systems I’ve gained in the SELECT program.

“Combining that training with my undergraduate education in economics, I aspire to one day practice clinically and work administratively to improve the delivery of care, regardless of whether that is in a single emergency department, healthcare network, or on a larger scale.”

This award is possible, thanks to contributions from the Lehigh County Medical Auxiliary’s Scholarship and Educational Fund Inc. which established this fund within the foundation to assist Lehigh County residents with the cost of attending medical school.

For more information about this scholarship, or other scholarship opportunities, visit foundationpamedsoc.org.

For information, contact Student Financial Services Director Deborah Monko at 717-558-7854.