Bita Bashy is a fourth-year medical student at the Kirk Kerkorian School of Medicine at UNLV. As she is approaching graduation, May 2024, she is exploring various specialties and is in the process of applying for residency.

What is the process like when applying for Residency?

It is easier than applying for medical school because you feel like you have a stronger direction of what you actually want to do, at least for me. When I was applying to medical school I was pretty much kind of aimless, I had a gut feeling that I wanted to do it but after four years, I now know, yes I want to commit to it. You get a better drive, that you can now easily talk about. I am still in the process of looking at all the residencies I want to apply to. I really do love Nevada and the West Coast, I don’t want to be shoveling snow, so I will definitely keep to this side. I am interested in Internal Medicine, it can just be difficult to curate your application when you don’t know what you are curating it to.

What are you involved in at UNLV with fellow students?

The biggest project I am working on is that I run an arts and crafts event each week at the Recuperative Care Center of Las Vegas. This is where for example, if one was homeless and they just came out of the hospital and still need some sort of treatment or procedures, this is where they would stay. They have their own spaces at RCC and don’t really get to decorate much so our arts and crafts not only allows them to express themselves, be creative, and have something fun to do but they also get to keep for example their paintings. We also do seasonal crafts. Our main focus is canvas and paint but we would eventually like to introduce other forms of art. It is really nice because we get to chill with them and connect. I like to put on relaxing music while everyone is working. Some are so talented, we’ve had an individual who was previously a tattoo artist. We provide all supplies, and would like to have an art drive sometime in the future.

What made you start thinking about practicing medicine?

I went to a magnet high school called Northwest Career and Technical Academy, when I attended the school they had a pre-medical program. As a highschool student you dress in scrubs and learn sports medicine and anatomy. I was tapping knees in less than a minute, it provided a fun low-risk way to learn about medicine. For me, going through the pre-med classes helped me decide that ok this is what I want to pursue.

What are the biggest challenges you are facing right now?

I’m very torn between who I want to be, I know I want to be an internal medicine physician but I don’t know from that point forward where I am going to live, I don’t know what residency I am ending up at, I don’t know how that is going to affect those closest to me. I don’t know if I am going to be so far away that I can’t have my support system close to me and that causes confliction on where I want to go, especially with applying right now. It puts us at a crossroads on how to decide. Everything before was planned out, everything was by the book, and now finally there is the unknown and that can be pretty scary.

What is your perspective on the future of medicine?

I see how we run things here and see that it can be more efficient, kind, and better. I feel everyone starts out in the medical field with a good heart and with the best intentions and then you can just get over worked into being jaded and not as cognizant of the patient experience. Therefore, I feel like we need to improve the environment that we work in so that these brilliant people can be better. For example, I feel if you don’t have enough people, even if the people you have are great you are still going to feel overworked. Therefore working on patient to healthcare provider ratios is important. We have a lot of our really good workers who end up leaving for greener pastures, when we need to make this pasture green so that they stay and help the most vulnerable populations.