Student Profile: Hamelin Merejo

2015 Summer Newsletter, Student Spotlight

Hamelin Merejo, 26 years old, worked at the Institute for Family Health at the Walton location in the Bronx as a patient service representative for five years before entering the Medical Assistant Training Program at Lehman College.  Previous to that, she worked at a clothing store.  After completing the training she was upgraded to the position of Medical Office Assistant at the Walton Family Health Center.

Q: How did you get interested in the healthcare field?

A: I’ve always been the type of person that likes to learn new things and help people.  I have some family members who were working in the medical field.  I also really like what the Institute for Family Health stands for, their mission.  They offer high quality healthcare to underserved communities.

Q: Why did you decide to enter the medical assistant training program?

A: I decided to join the training because I was at a point in my life where I couldn’t go to school full-time, but I wanted to advance.  I didn’t want to stay at the front desk forever.  This was a first step to move on and to improve myself.  I also like that medical assistants are really involved with the patients.  It’s more intimate with the patients.

Q: What was one of the most important things that you learned in the training?

A: You know, when you are doing front desk and people are rude, you really don’t know what’s going through their minds.  When you are a medical assistant, you see what is going on in their lives and you understand that it’s not personal.  You have a better relationship with the patient and a better understanding of their situation.

Q: How does it feel to be working as a medical assistant?

A: It feels great.  It feels like I’ve accomplished something, like I’m not stuck doing the same thing.  If I’m needed more in the front I can do the front; if I’m needed more in the back I can do that too – there is more variety in the work that I do.

Q: What is most challenging about your job?

A: Dealing with people is never easy.  It’s a blessing and a curse.  Sometimes people like things a certain way, but you have to do things the way they are supposed to be done, which may not match what the patient wants.  You have to learn not to take it personal when they give you attitude, to put that aside and focus on doing your job.

Q: What impact did the program have on your life?

A: It helped me decide what I want to do – that I want to stay in the medical field and maybe go on to nursing.  You know a lot of people pay to go to school and are still paying off their loans.  This was a great opportunity for me.