As Alvernia University pre-medical student Collin Welteroth unpacks and organizes clothing, he chats with the newest resident at a facility for people who use wheelchairs. The resident tells Welteroth he has had a great life and would rather be himself than trade places with a person who doesn’t use a wheelchair. Welteroth steps back to reevaluate his worldview.
“His words really hit me. It was incredible just to hear how selfless he was about his condition. It blew my mind.”
The conversation happened during an Alternative Break service trip, which is when Alvernia students engage in service activities during holiday breaks from school. Welteroth credits a combination of service-learning experiences and theology coursework for teaching him to approach his work in the medical field from an ethical perspective.
Now that he is working as an intern in the Trauma Surgery department at Reading Hospital, he applies ethics to his patient interactions. “The more time I spend at my internship, the more I realize how useful it will be to look at each patient from an ethical standpoint.”
When a patient required extra care to treat an injury while going through alcohol withdrawal, Welteroth said his ethics training kicked in. “I’m learning that people make choices for reasons I can’t explain, and obviously, they aren’t my choices to make for them.”
Welteroth’s ethics training is preparing him to be a successful physician because he’ll see each patient objectively. Then, he can make the best decisions to provide quality care.
Class of 2020