Mad About Medicine

Some students have a background or story that is so central to their identity that they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.

His skin detached from its threadlike bindings to unveil a unique color palette. Excess blood flooded the area, only to be extracted by a contraption of assorted tubes. Muscle tissue, each fiber visible, danced around bones and ligaments to the heart’s metronome. The patient is sprawled across an adjustable bed draped in azure sheets, indistinguishable in color from the metal-wielding committee proceeding around him. An assortment of screens monitor his vital and sedative levels, constantly fluctuating throughout the operation. Millimeters of metal penetrate, slice, and contort the torn ligament, as titanium screws fuse with bone to function as pillars to the delicate structure. Nylon and polypropylene web fasten the intentional laceration. The tear in the dorsal region of his left scapholunate ligament is repaired. Fascinated and curious, I marvel at the genius orchestrating before me.

Days traversing rickety playgrounds inevitably led to my fair share of injuries, both witnessed and experienced. Cowering at the pain of a splinter’s incision and wincing at molten pavement scraping the skin off my kneecaps gave me the opportunity to observe the magical healing properties of the human body. I then assumed the role of doctor and patient, as tweezers bounced within my quivering grip and cascades of hydrogen peroxide met cotton balls. My fascination with the medical field developed early; however, my first experience came far later.

My first opportunity to experience hands-on medicine occurred in the spring of my junior year, when I was accepted to volunteer at Lahey Hospital and Medical Center. My job involved moving supplies, filing, and cleaning, but I did not care. I was enthralled by the opportunity and my fit in the hospital was hand-in-glove. Each day I showed up early. The monotony of “flipping beds”- trading in one set of azure sheets and pillowcase for another- permeated my days. The tedious cleaning of equipment frustrated me, as painfully undersized latex gloves expanded then burst, which lead to me handling chemically laden wipes with my unprotected, callused hands. My eyes grew weary as my swift hands slowed. Colored manila folders I ordered sequentially: evaluation, diagnosis, treatment plan, charts, medical records, insurance forms, and release forms. The work remained ceaseless; yet, my initial fervor for the hospital setting never dissipated. My service to Lahey ultimately rewarded me with the opportunity to shadow surgery.

Shadowing Doctor Tong at Lahey Hospital and Medical Center in Peabody, Massachusetts affirmed my interest in medicine. The deliberate, delicate workings of the human body are each so nuanced and vulnerable. Understanding its cumulative complexity is my goal. I see the transformative powers of medicine and I envision myself at the forefront of the movement. My affinity for the discipline prompts my desire to devote my life to contributing to the medical field and community. The key to my happiness is a life of good health; my goal is to provide that to the masses.

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