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To confirm that medicine is the best way for me to help others, I….. This experience brought me in direct contact with clinical care and provided me with the opportunity to witness and participate in the "behind-the-scenes" hospital operations.

I continued to advance my research experience at

will allow me to pursue an art and science that is tremendously gratifying and contributes to the welfare of those around me.


These frustrating situations place a huge strain on physicians, and yet they persevere and continue to work long hours in hospitals, clinics and HMOs providing the best care they can.* While thoroughly aware of the long hours physicians must work and the challenges they face, I am choosing medicine because of the unique satisfaction it provides — the rewards of helping a sick human being.

My interest in medicine started with my general fascination in the natural and social sciences. The breadth of knowledge and skills that a career in medicine demanded had strongly appealed to me from the beginning; only the medical field can pull so many varying academic disciplines together under one humanitarian goal: the prevention, treatment and cure of the sick and disabled. Of the natural sciences, chemistry struck me as the most capable of providing me with a strong foundational understanding of modern medical advances, from the pharmaceutical to the diagnostic. Through my work experiences, I became fascinated with the economics of the American healthcare system and closely followed the heated discussions of the various arguments, including the academic reasoning each side used. By the end of my junior year, my continued interest in economics let me to decide in pursuing a double degree in both chemistry and economics. My work experiences would further serve to confirm my academic interests and personal passions, and help me in developing the necessary maturity and confidence in pursuing a career as a physician.

I realized early on during my working experiences in college that I wanted a profession where I could frequently incorporate human interaction with my academic interests as well. In my second year of college, confident of my ability to succeed in the classroom, I proceeded to volunteer at the University of Chicago Hospitals emergency rooms. There, I acquired an understanding of the emotional demands and time commitment required of physicians by watching them schedule their personal lives around the needs of their patients. I also soon observed that the rewards of medicine stem from serving the needs of these same patients. I too found it personally gratifying to provide individuals with emotional support by holding an elderly woman's hand as a nurse drew a blood sample or befriending frightened patients with a smile and conversation. I discovered that in some medical circumstances, compassion, understanding and the faith in healing became the only remedies available. Wanting to have a greater role in patient care though, I took classes during my third year at Weiss Hospital in northern Chicago and obtained an Emergency Medical Technician license. Over the past summer in St. Francis Hospital, I learned to work together with the doctors and staff there, experiencing for myself the tremendous professional responsibility and diligence demanded of those working in health care. Constantly aware of the human face behind each patient chart, I knew there was no room for carelessness and incompetence. The experience proved quite humbling as I struggled initially to organize my duties and refrain from making mistakes. My first successful splinting of a patient’s arm at St. Francis was an enormously satisfying experience that made worthwhile the hours I had spent after training becoming comfortable with the procedure. I had found out that the emotionally rewarding aspect of medicine serves as a powerful motivator for doing my job well and with dedication.

Working at St. Francis also allowed me to relate in person how seemingly abstract health policies have real and direct impacts on health care at the local and patient level. Courses in economics and health policy prepared me intellectually for the physician’s dilemma: To do everything to provide the best health care possible, while being constrained by limited resources when funds are just not available. This struggle to find the right balance makes a literal life-and-death difference especially to those receiving care from lower socioeconomic groups. At St. Francis I saw young and old patients who would have had much greater chances of recovery and access to affordable treatment if only their illnesses or disabilities were discovered and treated earlier. From the doctors at work, I learned that recent policy trends such as preventive care and early intervention have made a difference in significantly reducing those cases I saw at St. Francis. It is truly fascinating that this kind of life-saving win-win pareto efficient solution exists throughout our health care system, with many still undiscovered, waiting to be researched.

The ultimate goal of medicine in finding, treating and caring for the ill and disabled cannot be understated, but through my laboratory and research experiences, I have come to understand that our advances in our knowledge of medicine and health care are necessarily obtained through scientific and social research. This symbiosis between medical research and its application in health care makes medicine nearly unique as a single field, and is what I have found, along with its emotional rewards, to be so worthwhile in pursuing a medical career. Research is intrinsically laborious and painstaking, but through Dr. Abe, my primary investigator, I saw firsthand its interconnectedness with the clinical side of medicine. Rushing from service as a critical care physician to the critical care laboratory takes tremendous organizational skills and is achieved with a desire in not only being the best possible caregiver for his patient but also with a purpose to advance his field of care. In the laboratory, I also saw the stress, frustration, and uncertainty involved in obtaining grants. Despite limited resources, he, like the clinical physician, tries everyday to do his best to achieve his goals and to make that difference in the advancement of medicine. Inspired by Dr. Abe and the other exceptional doctors I have met, I will also harness that determination in medicine.

My science classes, research, and clinical experience have prepared me to meet the demands of medical school.


Jason's story touched mine, confirming my growing sense of the deficiencies in science and technology. Advances in medical knowledge and techniques are useless without parallel progress in healthcare accessibility, widespread education about health issues, and most importantly, strong doctor-patient relationships. The revolutionary treatment methods I imagined myself discovering might never have an impact on patients like Jason. On the other hand, the dedication of just a few volunteers allowed him to play the sport he had always loved. Science could not fix Jason's eyesight, but supportive doctors, volunteers, and friends could help him live a fulfilling life. Spending time with him and others convinced me that, in addition to my research in medical science and technology, I wanted to work directly with those whose ailments cannot currently be cured.



His eyesight was almost completely gone, yet I could still sense hope and determination in his steady voice. I met Jason this summer at St. Francis in northern Chicago, where I worked as a medical technician. He was two years older than me--handsome, friendly and athletic. But Jason was blind. Struck by glaucoma, he had begun to lose his vision in his early teens. By high school, he had become legally blind. My sympathy only intensified when I learned that, had his disease been diagnosed earlier, he almost surely would have retained partial vision. Financially strapped and thinking it was merely minor near-sightedness, Jason's family had avoided taking him to a doctor for as long as they could; when he finally visited a physician for his chronic headaches, it was too late. My encounters with people like Jason and the physicians who treat them convinced me that medicine is my true calling. Only the medical field can pull so many varying academic disciplines together under one humanitarian goal: the prevention, treatment and cure of the sick and disabled. The breadth of knowledge and skills that a career in medicine demands, allows me to adapt my college academic interests in both chemistry and economics to further advance my passion and stake in the field of medicine.
At the University of Chicago, I was drawn to both the study of the world’s natural phenomena and our human condition. Through a solid foundation of chemistry, I discovered the interrelatedness of the natural sciences, and of how chemistry can be used on a conceptual level to explain, for example, both the biological activities inside a red blood cell and the physics behind an X-ray machine. Being a teacher’s assistant in biochemistry I saw the importance of having strong backgrounds in multiple disciplines. Those who struggled with the course typically had only a superficial understanding of the chemistry involved, lacking in the tools to make sense of the biology. This middle ground nature of chemistry in the natural sciences strongly appealed to me because with it I was able to develop an understanding of other scientific topics with greater ease. Chemistry and other natural sciences seem quite incapable of describing the world beyond the physical and natural. This shortcoming of the natural sciences led me to pursue courses in the social sciences, namely in economics and public policy. My research experiences in both the social and natural sciences subsequently made me realize the indispensability of both types of research for the advancement of medicine. In my freshman and sophomore years, as part of the multi-hospital research project, I conducted direct interviews and telephone follow-up surveys of patients from the University of Chicago Hospitals and other major teaching hospitals, in an effort to compare the quality of inpatient care with outpatient care. Techniques used in the social sciences made sense of our surveys by quantifying seeming intangibles such as “satisfaction” and “quality of care”. During my third year, I worked in a critical care lab under Dr. Abe and experienced firsthand how laborious and painstaking scientific research could be, but I also felt the drive to advance medical field in a new area, to increase our knowledge of medicine.
In my second year of college, confident of my ability to succeed in the classroom, I proceeded to volunteer at the University of Chicago Hospitals emergency rooms. There, I acquired an understanding of the emotional demands and time commitment required of physicians by watching them schedule their personal lives around the needs of their patients. I also soon observed that the rewards of medicine stem from serving the needs of these same patients. I too found it personally gratifying to provide individuals with emotional support by holding an elderly woman's hand as a nurse drew a blood sample or befriending frightened patients with a smile and conversation. I discovered that in some medical circumstances, compassion, understanding and the faith in healing became the only remedies available. Wanting to have a greater role in patient care though, I took classes during my third year at Weiss Hospital in northern Chicago and obtained an Emergency Medical Technician license. Over the past summer in St. Francis Hospital, I learned to work together with the doctors and staff there, experiencing for myself the tremendous professional responsibility and diligence demanded of those working in health care. Constantly aware of the human face behind each patient chart, I knew there was no room for carelessness and incompetence. The experience proved quite humbling as I struggled initially to organize my duties and refrain from making mistakes. My first successful splinting of a patient’s arm at St. Francis was an enormously satisfying experience that made worthwhile the hours I had spent after training becoming comfortable with the procedure. I had found out that the emotionally rewarding aspect of medicine serves as a powerful motivator for doing my job well and with dedication.
Working at St. Francis also allowed me to relate in person how seemingly abstract health policies have real and direct impacts on health care at the local and patient level. Courses in economics and health policy prepared me intellectually for the physician’s dilemma: To do everything to provide the best health care possible, while being constrained by limited resources when funds are just not available. This struggle to find the right balance makes a literal life-and-death difference especially to those receiving care from lower socioeconomic groups. At St. Francis I saw patients like Jason who would have had much greater chances of recovery and access to affordable treatment if only their illnesses or disabilities were discovered and treated earlier. From the doctors at work, I learned that recent policy trends such as preventive care and early intervention have made a difference in significantly reducing those preventable cases. It is stunning that this kind of win-win pareto efficient solution exists throughout our health care system, with many still undiscovered, waiting to be researched.
Jason’s story touched me and revealed some of the deficiencies with only having science and technological development. My strong academic background in the natural sciences and economics prepares me with a wide scope for understanding and participating in the medical field and in its future advancements. Advances in medical knowledge and techniques are useless without parallel progress in healthcare accessibility, widespread education about health issues, and most importantly, strong doctor-patient relationships. The revolutionary treatment methods I imagined myself discovering might never have an impact on patients like Jason. Science for now could not fix Jason's eyesight; but supportive doctors, volunteers, and friends could help him live a fulfilling life. Spending time with him and others convinced me that, in addition to my research in medical science, the human element of compassion and caring remains essential in medicine, and is what lures me to medicine. In my own career as a physician, I will strive to serve my patients not only as a healer, but also as a friend, supporting them in their toughest moments, and as a mentor, guiding them to live healthy lifestyles.

In the hopes of reconciling both the natural and social sciences, I started courses in economics


alone would be unable to provide me an understanding of the world beyond the physical and natural; it could not explain social behavior, our existing social institutions, .
This led me to pursue at Chicago courses in economics and public policy in the hopes of reconciling
I realized early on during my working experiences in college that I wanted a profession where I could frequently incorporate human interaction with my academic interests as well.

and was ecstatic at the potential in which I could make a contribution in them. Economics seemed to provide all

I realized early on though that
Of the natural sciences, chemistry struck me as the most capable of providing me with a strong foundational understanding of modern medical advances, from the pharmaceutical to the diagnostic.
After watching Dr. Chang and other doctors at the medical research facility, I can now declare with confidence that I want to follow their example in my own career, combining clinical practice and research.

Actually, growing up I had always planned to become a doctor, but my goals changed as I began to take economics classes at the University of Chicago. In the first meeting of my sophomore-year class on Programming in Artificial Intelligence, Professor Larry Birnbaum joked, "You know those movies where killer robots eventually take over the world? Believe them." I did just that, placing my trust in the vast opportunities offered by computer programming. In my first computer course, I created applications that could beat a human in tic-tac-toe, calculate complex mathematical problems, and even converse with humans on a specified topic. Fascinated with the potential of these programs, I embarked on a different path, away from clinical medicine. I saw a world in which computers would change and even replace processes in every industry, and I wanted to join the researchers at the forefront of this revolution.


Five years after that first class, the potential contribution of computer technology still inspires me. The possibilities are astounding. Scientists mapped the human genome years before their original deadline. Nanotechnology promises to revolutionize the way we detect and cure diseases. Still, the more I learn about technology, the more I recognize its inadequacies. Although the "psychologist" program I created faithfully reproduces human responses, I discovered that I would never want to speak with a computer about my problems. Certain interactions simply demand personal contact. As I have worked as a teacher’s assistant to classmates in biochemistry, visited with patients as a volunteer at the University of Chicago Hospitals, I have realized that the human element in such relationships is irreplaceable. While technology may shape the future of mankind, only humanity can touch individual lives.

I have thus circled back to my original path towards medicine, with no regrets about the scenic route that led me here. Indeed, I am confident that I will make good use of my computer science skills as I research potential advancements in medical technology. This summer, I began work as a research assistant to Dr. Chi-Hung Chang at Northwestern's Buehler Center on Aging. With Dr. Chang, I am developing a computer program that determines the "quality of life" of terminally ill patients. By compiling physician diagnostics and patient responses to questionnaires, the system assesses the value of given treatments as well as the efficacy of specific pharmaceuticals. Through this project, we hope to understand and improve the current care of the terminally ill. After watching Dr. Chang and other doctors at the medical research facility, I can now declare with confidence that I want to follow their example in my own career, combining clinical practice and research.


My work on the "quality of life" evaluation project gave me a perfect opportunity to fulfill this dual goal, and I look forward to a lifetime spent on similar pursuits. Yet I will never forget that the seeds of my current ambition arose not in the laboratory or at the health center, but on a baseball diamond filled with people playing a game they likely thought they would never play again. In my own career as a physician, I will strive to serve my patients not only as a healer, but also as a friend, supporting them in their toughest moments, and as a mentor, guiding them to live healthy lifestyles. Robots may assist in my endeavors, but they will never possess the compassion of my fellow physicians and me.

The multifaceted nature of medicine means that a medical doctor can incorporate the to advance medicine and health care.

This kind of win-win pareto efficient solution exists throughout our health care system and can save lives on a macro scale.
Both clinical and economic developments in medical treatment come from proper research.

In college my academics were also complemented with research experiences. Research is intrinsically laborious and painstaking,

I saw the stress, frustration, and uncertainty involved in obtaining grants. Despite limited resources, he, and the clinical physician, tries everyday to do his best to achieve his goals and to make that difference in medical advances. Inspired by Dr. Abe and the other exceptional doctors I have met, I will also harness that determination in medicine.

The multifaceted nature in which medicine and health care can be advanced means that


Several doctors from work praised the policy trends such as preventive care and early intervention that could significantly decrease cases like tho.
This kind of win-win pareto efficient solution
while one doctor expressed strong reservations of the limitations these policies impose on treatment options for physicians and care centers. The medical significance of these economic discussions

With the growing prevalence of planned healthcare in the United States, it becomes increasingly crucial for future physicians to be prepared to address and possibly confront these issues. Say something about how these discussions fascinates me.


====

The intellectual expansiveness of medicine


The experience proved quite humbling as I struggled initially to organize my duties and refrain from making mistakes.

Recent developments in health policies such as early intervention has made the difference in providing more effective care at an earlier stage of disease, and in turn a

I know medicine will allow me to pursue an art and science that is tremendously gratifying and contributes to the welfare of those around me.

My duties centered around the role of patient-physician liaison, determining patients' eligibility, monitoring their conditions, and conducting patient histories.

also saw determination and tenacity in another setting while at BIG U: Dr. Steve Jones neurophysiology laboratory. In collaboration with Dr. Jack Smith Jr. at Big U II, I performed immunohistochemistry experiments to label metabotropic glutamate receptors. Research is intrinsically laborious and painstaking, but through my experience with Dr. Smith, I saw the stress, frustration, and uncertainty involved in obtaining grants. Yet he continues his pursuit of knowledge. Despite limited resources, he, like my father and the clinical physician, tries everyday to do his best to achieve his goals. I used similar drive in my research projects and am co-author of an article resulting from my research. Inspired by Dr. Smith, I will harness that determination in medicine. He showed me what it means to really enjoy a career.
My science classes, research, and clinical experience have prepared me to meet the demands of medical school.
Through my work experiences I developed the maturity and confidence in my decision to pursue medicine.

restorative, technological, and artistic aspects of surgery. I also saw that the application of medical knowledge was most effective when combined with compassion and empathy from the health care provider.


I also realized that in medicine many decisions are based on clinical approximation, as opposed to the precision of the lab.

Confident of my ability to succeed in the classroom, I proceeded to obtain an Emergency Medical Technician license at Weiss Hospital in north side of Chicago and started clinical work at St. Francis over the summer.
Social aspect of medicine

Welfare


Early intervention, the economics of medicine. Seeing it firsthand.

Emergency room at the hospital.

diligence, communication, willingness to learn and adapt.
the emotional satisfaction; i want the responsibility to
multitasking
appreciation of life and the value of life.

restorative, technological, and artistic aspects of surgery. I also saw that the application of medical knowledge was most effective when combined with compassion and empathy from the health care provider.


Sometimes Compassion and understanding were the only remedies available, temporary though they were.
medicine is the science and art dealing with the maintenance of health and the prevention, alleviation, or cure of disease in humans

I acquired an understanding of the emotional demands and time commitment required of physicians by watching them schedule their personal lives around the needs of their patients. I also soon observed that the rewards of medicine stem from serving the needs of these same patients. I too found it personally gratifying to provide individuals with emotional support by holding an elderly woman's hand as a physician drew a blood sample or befriending frightened patients with a smile and conversation.

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