I would spin around and around in those comfortable cushioned chairs behind the nursesâ€™ station until I got dizzy. Every time the nurses would leave their post, I would try to pierce through â€œCIA Classified Foldersâ€ with my 5-years-old Superman vision. Ok, I guess they were only patientâ€™s records inside those folders, but back then it seemed like those folders contained our nationâ€™s secrets. I even tried to break into a folder once â€“ but I was abruptly slapped on the wrist and told not to do it again. At that early age, I begin to find medicine extremely intriguing. Every weekend I would go with my father to the Psychiatric Center to take rounds. There, I helped supervise the daily activities of pre-adolescents, played with them, and assisted them in getting dressed. I worked with crack babies, autistic children, and children who had severe behavioral problems. There was one incident where a young autistic boy would frequently hit himself and no one was permitted to stop him. We had to turn away and allow this child to continually strike and hurt himself until he was tired because autism was still a fairly unknown illness back then. I was frustrated that I was not able to help him and vowed to myself that I would do something about that one day.
Throughout my undergraduate years at Emory I have blended both my interests in medicine with my passion for the Indian heritage. During the summer of sophomore year I volunteered at a medical clinic in India. It was in Calcutta, thousands of miles away from home, that I witnessed medicine practiced as I imagined it should be. Seeing the doctor treat his patients with skill and compassion as fellow human beings rather than simply diseases to be outsmarted, I realized he was truly helping the people of Calcutta in a manner unique to medicine. Fascinated by this exposure to clinical medicine, I saw medicineâ€™s ability to make a difference in peopleâ€™s lives.