All for the Patient

Student Body Vice President, HOSA State President Speaks on Healthcare Experience, Mission


Photo Courtesy of Aashna Ravi

Smiling with her dog Hari for her commitment to the University of Texas at Austin in the fall, senior Aashna Ravi poses at her home. Ravi plans to major in Health and Society, an interdisciplinary program within the College of Liberal Arts. “As an aspiring healthcare professional, being able to get that higher understanding of how people are affected by the background they come from will be especially helpful as I go forward into a career that is very people oriented,” Ravi said. “Going forward I hope that there’s a lot more growth in terms of accessible healthcare.”

Anthony Whiting, Reporter

Her future is extensive. Learning about the variety of healthcare practices in the world within the classrooms at UT, traveling abroad to a spanish-speaking country to see community medicine first-hand, becoming a physician’s assistant and building strong relationships with patients are just a handful of possible accomplishments in store for senior Aashna Ravi.

On March 25, 2021, Ravi was elected the HOSA state president after her initial participation in HOSA competitions freshman year and attending area and state leadership conferences. Before becoming president, she ran and was elected the school chapter historian then a regional position where she was then nominated for a state position.

“As state president, it was definitely an eye opening opportunity in terms of being able to see all the ins and outs of HOSA from a new perspective. My experience also brought increased opportunity, socially in terms of meeting and engaging with people from all over the state,” Ravi said. “In light of everything that has happened with COVID-19 and worker burnout I hope that it inspires more people to take a passionate path in medicine. I do hope that in the future, we can give people greater access to healthcare. There are underserved groups all over the country, all over the world and in developing countries.”

HOSA candidates running for office go through the slating process that allows the HOSA nominating committee discretion over the positions candidates will run for. Candidates can be slated at either the regional or state level. Ravi was eventually slated unopposed for state president.

“I had worked with the team who had slated me so it’s the natural progression to run for state next given all the requirements are met so that’s what brought me to the state level,” Ravi said. “I tested the state leadership conference, did my interview, did my campaign speech. I was slated for president unopposed. All of the other individuals on the slate were running against someone else and at that moment I was relieved, and this is going to be great, I’m very excited for what’s to come. I was very happy to be in the state team at all even though I was slated for president, I would have been happy with any position.”

According to Ravi, she attests to a great networking and teacher mentorship that put her in a position to run for statewide office. Former Health Science teacher Tami Beall helped prepare her for interviews, tests, the election process, and speeches.

“I didn’t really belong to a group of students entering high school,” Ravi said. “I found myself spending almost every single day in Mrs. Beal’s classroom my freshman year. I left PE to go sit in her classroom and help her with health science stuff and do all the HOSA things. I was in there a lot and really got a taste of what the health science program at the school was like and what HOSA had to offer me as a student.”

Within school clubs, Ravi is a member in Student Council and was the student body vice president for this school year. The role requires communication between the school administration, the club and the student body at-large.

“I feel like with student council, it was like we were all on the same page with everything that was going on in the high school so that really gave me that sense of community as everybody here is working towards the same goals,” Ravi said. “These are the people I see every single day at high school. I’ve learned so much from other people and student council, and the perspectives that I didn’t previously have on some of the school issues, issues in general, and the group of friends I’ve made there have helped me a lot during high school.”

With her medical-related extracurriculars, Ravi has researched going to three years of graduate school to become a Physician’s Assistant. As a mid-level health care provider, PAs have more time to spend building relationships with patients and have the ability to change their specialty within their career without redoing residency like physicians.

“PA school is an opportunity to get that higher level of patient understanding because in contrast to more physicians, PAs get more time to talk to the patient, get a comprehensive understanding of what the patient goes through and it’s more patient oriented,” Ravi said. “It’s the aspect of teamwork that really drew me to the career, being able to discuss and give the best care to the patient instead of one person making the sole decision, you have a team of people you can confer with to make sure you’re giving the best care to your patient. You get your own autonomy in the workplace being able to see patients on your own.”

In the fall, Ravi plans to attend the University of Texas at Austin to major in Health and Society, an interdisciplinary Liberal Arts major where students can take courses in the College of Natural Sciences, the College of Education, the College of Communication, and the LBJ School of Public Affairs.

“It’s a great way to get a piece of every part which eventually will lead me to be a more informed health care professional,” Ravi said. “Another bigger reason I chose this major, is I have direct influence from some of the stuff I grew up with. Being able to think back on how my culture has affected Indian medicine, the way I eat, the medicinal routines, the activities I take part in, the social culture it really drew me into the health and society major focusing on community, culture, social, and ethical aspects of healthcare.”

According to Ravi, future and current students seeking to involve themselves in HOSA, student council or other organizations should not be afraid to try things out as it may be life-changing.

“Something that really helped me these past four years is just meeting new people. You never know what that first connection is going to spark whether that be new opportunities, new friends, a new support system,” Ravi said. “When reaching out to people, you’re inviting new opportunities into your life and whether that’s good or bad, you can always take a lesson from whatever you learned or experienced. Getting involved in STUCO and HOSA have given me a community and given me a support system that I’ve used for so many years.”