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In my first year of high school my mother thought I was old enough to hear about the complications of my birth. She told me about the umbilical cord wrapped around my neck, the blood that filled my lungs, and how she did not get to hold me right away because she fell unconscious from too much blood loss. The day that I knew I wanted to pursue medicine was the day I learned of this story.
I soon got interested in the inner working of the human body. More specifically, I got interested in the immune system and the circulatory system of the body. This lead me to design a project titled ‘Does Turmeric Enhance the Regeneration of Planaria maculate?’ with my brother. It was an idea that was based off my grandmother who would apply a ginger-like root called turmeric to burns and open wounds claiming that it helped speed up the healing process and prevented scars. As I saw her do that I became more and more interested. Digging into the project design, I knew that cutting open patients’ arm and then applying powered root may raise some eyebrows in the ethics community. Instead, we stayed in the lines that the ethics board allowed and instead mixed turmeric in the water of Planaria maculate, a worm that was able to regrow if cut in half. Discovering that the turmeric did have an effect on the regeneration, speeding up the regeneration of the Planaria maculate, I did get very excited. We ended up taking this project to the Canada-Wide Science Fair where we won gold. This victory was very motivational to me as I now found something that I was not only interested and passionate in, but one that would lead to a career that I would too enjoy. I quickly found out that the human body was a lot more complex than my 13-year-old mind could imagine, and only got me more interested in the anatomy and physiology of the human body.
Growing up, there were many times that I went to the hospital to visit family members and friends that needed emergency care. That was also the last place where I saw some of those people. I saw critical illness within my family at a young age and felt helpless at the time. I saw the work of doctors and other healthcare professionals who helped save the lives of some of the most important people in my life. Therefore, I couldn’t think of a more valuable, fulfilling or personally meaningful career for me.
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