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Humanism Essay- Howard 2007

Humanism Essay- Howard 2007 - Gold Foundation Essay...

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Gold Foundation Essay Untitled Benjamin Howard A s the train whistle pierced the air of the high Andean plateau, the herd of grazing alpacas wheeled away toward the jagged peaks off to the north. The great diesel engines roared to life, and I wandered back up the tracks, passing the crowd of first-class passengers haggling out final deals with the local merchants. Pausing to consider the global forces that brought such an unlikely mix together at this desolate 12,000-foot pass—wealthy and bejeweled tourists paying next to nothing for handmade alpaca goods, indigenous herders whose livelihood depended on that train’s daily passing—I was torn from my musings by a sudden cry of panic. I spun around as one of the tourists, in a rush to return to her first- class seat, came tumbling down the steep embankment above the tracks, landing hard in a cloud of dust. I pushed through the crowd to see the woman’s bloodied face, and stepped in to assist as conductors whisked her onto a stretcher. Holding her neck stable, I soon found myself giving directions in Spanish as we lifted her up to the dining car. Here I was, a second-year medical student with limited EMT experience, the most medically qualified person on the train. Clicking into my best cool-but- adrenaline-charged emergency manner, I ran through the list in my head: airway, breathing, pulse, check the head wound, any other trauma? Level of consciousness? Sen ˜ora, co ´mo se llama? Do ´nde estamos ahora? Y que dı´a es? Sabe que paso ´? She strained to answer through tears of fright, eyes darting from face to face in shock. As the train lurched forward, my stomach lurched with it to realize we were a half-day’s journey from any semblance of a hospital. Detecting no gross evidence of fracture or major bleeding— gracias a Dios! —I turned back to the woman and was surprised by the terrified helplessness in her eyes. So as I’d learned years before, watching my father with his patients, I stopped and took her trembling hand in mine. I looked her in the eye and told
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