Magic of Medicine

By Lindsay Wasicek

Continued from page 20 . . .

            Another abnormality surrounding my childhood involved appointments with my pediatrician.  Unlike many children who hated or feared the doctor, the days I went to see my doctor were some of my favorite ones growing up.  I remember counting down the days on my “Doogie Howser, M.D.” calendar, crossing each day off with a big, bold “X,” indicating one day closer, one less day of anticipation.  This of course proceeded by my frantic running down the hall, thumping down the stairs, and crashing into the kitchen breathless to make my announcement of “Three more days till I go to see Dr. Leech!”

            My obsession with medicine continued well beyond my childhood.  By taking biology, chemistry, anatomy, and physiology classes in high school, I gained a basic understanding of biological functions and how the human body works.  Attaining this rudimentary background only made me yearn for more.  I have carried my passion for medicine with me into my studies in college.  I decided to major in biochemistry and biology with a biomedical concentration.  In college I have taken courses studying in depth the details of human structure and function, the problems and diseases encountered in the human body, and the combinations of chemicals that establish medicine which works within a biological system to fix and control these illnesses and ailments.

            My organic chemistry laboratory was the most eye-opening experience in my college career.  After spending years performing mindless lab experiments with unclear purposes, my brilliant professor had us execute a lab that would hit home.  Our assignment was to synthesize ibuprofen, a core medicine on the World Health Care’s Essential Drugs List.  Ibuprofen is an anti-inflammatory drug that almost every individual on the planet has taken or will take at one point in their lives.  After several weeks of combining, separating, crystallizing, and purifying several chemicals found in the university chemistry department, I ended up with several grams of a grainy, white powder.  This powder, the sand like granules in front of me, had been produced after a few liquids were run through several pieces of fragile, expensive glassware.  This product was medicine. I had created medicine!  This powder was actually capable of reducing swelling.  It had the power to relieve a headache.  I was astonished; I sat there smiling in disbelief.  I had created medicine.  On a larger note, something that I had synthesized in lab without too much trouble could do something so incredible, help people.  At that very moment I knew that I had to continue my pursuit of a career in medicine.

I want to help people the way medicine can.  Knowing that, I have decided to continue my education and apply to Optometry schools.  My life will forever be filled with medicine.  Upon completion of my graduate degree, I hope to one day be as intelligent and passionate about my career as I can remember my parents were.  Medicine has surrounded me my entire life, and I hope it always will.


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