Growing up, one of the first words I remembering uttering was ‘hypertension,’ as my father (the MD, PhD) had plenty scientific journals laying around the house. From a very young age I had become fascinated with the science behind medicine, but had little foresight as to what that curiosity would actually mean in terms of a career in medicine. Many years later after much maturation and realization, I find myself also seeking for the connection between the humanities and medicine, and how understanding the humanities may be just as vigorous and essential of a precursor to medicine as the natural sciences are.
Explicitly missing in the traditional pre-medical education is a cornerstone of medicine — humanism. I deliberately chose to study the liberal arts in college as I wanted to extend my knowledge beyond pre-medical classes with coursework in philosophy, English literature, and Latin. I combined my interests in biology and aesthetics in an honors thesis in neuroscience. Before medical school, I desire to further understand the diverse experiences of human beings, and how illness and narrative are in constant dialogue. In the deeply intimate affair of medicine, it seems absurd to deny human reflection and the rich and colored narrative of the patient that it comes from.”
For more, please go to Yilun Zhang’s blog.