At three in the morning, the phone rang. A trembling voice relayed the news that my friend had fallen into a coma due to an inoperable brain aneurysm. A few days later, her family decided to stop life support after confirmation that she was completely brain-dead. The fact that nothing could be done for her in this day and age, despite all our technological advancements, was a great shock to me. In addition, the fact that she was younger than me made me realize how short and precious each life truly is. Her death inspired me to pursue medicine so that one day, others in similarly hopeless situations, would have a chance to survive. My dream is that one day, I will contribute to bringing medicine one step closer to curing someone with a currently untreatable disease.
In order to determine whether or not clinical medicine was the right career for me, I started shadowing Dr. Richard Turner in the ER. Through my experiences with him, I learned that medicine is a problem solving process. As I watched, he would take a patient's history and try to piece together the correct diagnosis by deciding which scenarios were more likely than others. I was attracted by the dynamic nature of each patient's diagnosis and the necessity for an open mind. My hobby of flying has taught me to look at everything in life with a new perspective and to assess the situation from as many angles as possible. Watching Dr. Turner has confirmed my perception of a medical career and the nature of the work involved. Since I love puzzles and problems, the problem solving aspect also increased my desire to become a physician.
Furthermore, I am interested in expanding the field of medicine through research. I began working with Dr. Tyrone Hayes after taking his endocrinology class. My experience with Dr. Hayes in both the classroom and the laboratory has expanded my dreams and problem solving abilities. He encouraged us to look at problems as a physician would, with many possible answers, and honed our critical thinking skills. Also, in the laboratory, he demonstrated integrity with his work on the pesticide Atrazine and the importance of morals and values.
I also found a commonality between the world of medicine and my hobbies of scuba diving and flying - trust. The moment a person steps into my plane, or enters a dive as my partner, he is putting his life into my hands and I have the responsibility to earn and guard his trust in the same way I trust my instructor or dive partner. Conversely, I have learned to trust my co-pilots and dive partners. Last semester, during my time with Dr. Richard Turner, I saw people from all...