Oberlin Blogs

Premed ~ In the Blink of an Eye

November 22, 2021

Aishwarya Krishnaswamy ’23

If you'd said premed two years ago, no wait, eight months ago, I would’ve barely hidden my eye roll and replied, ‘hell NO.’ Since then, one thing led to another (details possibly in a different blog) and in the blink of an eye, I found myself hurled into considering medicine and, as a means, getting on the premed track. While I was barely flirting with this possibility (mostly in denial), things changed with rapid intensity, and here are my reasons to be on the premed track at Oberlin for anyone out there contemplating pursuing this track themselves. I still find it hard to admit being on the premed track to others because I know there is a long, long, long way to go and things change, but I want to take things one step at a time and trust my intuition, so here are my 6 ‘Why’s’ at present: 

  1. Being trusted with someone’s life: Being trusted to take care of someone is such a privilege, period. Now, imagine being trusted to take care of someone’s LIFE. This person whose life is in your hands is another human (family, friends, dreams, regrets, happiness, and all). Here they are in the hands of someone (you) they probably have no connection with. Yet YOU get the chance (an honor, if you will) to take care of them, their health, and do the best for them (HOLY shit!). It was only this summer, while shadowing doctors, did I reckon the magnitude of responsibility that comes with being a doctor, despite from the periphery. In the moments of seeing the scale of life and death tip in front of my eyes, I had this visceral feeling that prompted me to ask myself, ‘If I don’t do this, what else am I even going to do?’ 
  2. Science is fun & intellectually stimulating: The things science can do always blows my mind in the best ways. The most obvious example is the COVID mRNA vaccines currently. Understanding science and making it make sense to me and others is such a gratifying experience. To be fair, science classes at Oberlin are by no means easy and make you work for it. But being on the premed track has added a layer of intentionality to my learning. Knowing that the fundamentals of this (scientific) mechanism could save/help someone’s life adds so much more gravity to learning and makes you appreciate it SO much more!
  3. Practice, teach & advocate: I love learning and studying (yup, nerd much), but what’s EVEN better is being able to go out there and put learning to practice. Next, I tremendously value teaching. Teaching to me symbolizes such generosity; teaching someone something is empowering, enabling, and rooted in the growth of someone other than yourself. Lastly, advocating for those who can’t do so within the systemic structure we live in is very important to me. Pursuing the path of becoming a doctor would allow me to do all of these things within the one realm, medicine. 
  4. Helping people/ social service: I find a lot of contentment in helping people and being of service to my community and society as a whole. Needless to say, being a doctor would allow me to do both of those things and feel a sense of fulfillment in the process. 
  5. Working with a diverse range of people: I’m a total 'people person' and enjoy meeting, interacting, learning, and sharing experiences with others. Depending on the kind of doctor I end up being, it would hopefully provide me the opportunity to meet, provide support and learn from people coming from all walks of life. 
  6. Seeing the forest for the trees (perspective-taking): Thinking about life and death and the emotional intensity that comes with it gives one no choice but to take a step back and reevaluate the meaning of everything. In the face of such high stakes (life and death), I see no choice but to look at things from the grand scheme perspective. Seeing life and death play in front of my eyes, I found myself drenched with a sheer appreciation for humanity, sometimes with tears in my eyes and other times with just a tiny part of my heart melting. I think of myself as a highly self-reflective person (the Psyc degree makes so much more sense now…) and enjoy taking a big-picture thinking approach and filling in the dots. Pursuing this path would provide me the opportunity to play to my strengths while simultaneously pushing myself out of my comfort zone, and that’s where I like to be. 

What are your reasons? Comment below :) 

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