Youth Forward Scholarship 2017 – Volunteering in the Medical Field

Name: Giridhar Murali
From: Shelton, CT
Grade: giridharmurali2017@gmail.com
School: giridharmurali2017@gmail.com
Votes: 0


As
a seven-year old, my fascination with insects was a bit obscure. I
found many in my backyard, and tried my best to memorize them all by
name:
Rhopalocera,
Formicidae, and Anisoptera.
Unlike
my friends that focused on the aesthetic appearance, I was intrigued
by how these life forms were created to perfection and able to
survive just like us. I noticed variations between insects of the
same family, and drew similarities among those of different groups.
Surely, I was going to be an entomologist.

After
I grew out of my insect phase, my hobbies mainly involved conducting
science experiments. My seventh grade science project was about how
violent video games and media had a profound impact on blood
pressure. I had a clipboard and feverishly recorded the blood
pressures of my neighbors as they played “Clash of Clans.” I
don’t know what I enjoyed more: playing games or presenting the
information to the public. I was hooked.

My
biology teacher, Dr. Goodman, was the first to spark my interest in
healthcare. As the advisor for Science Academy, she made it seem
sophisticated to be interested in science research. At the end of the
year, I got a chance to visit the Langer Lab at MIT. The lab sealed
the deal when I saw students utilizing advanced devices to enrich
their collegiate experiences with research. Up until my visit, I
thought that medicine was just molecular and cellular biology.

Thankfully,
my biotechnology teacher, Dr. Vrabel, encouraged me to be a part of
current research into cholesterol, which introduced me to the other
side of medicine. At a local hospital, I assisted medical
technologists and pathologists in analyzing specimen samples to
determine prognoses. Although it was my first time working in a lab,
I actually got to help in solving an ongoing problem rather than just
filing papers.
The research that I conducted focused on
prevention rather than dealing with cholesterol after it became a
problem. It astounded me that my personal involvement could change
lives.

Besides
conducting research at the hospital, I also experienced patient care
firsthand at a nursing home. Though discovering new treatment options
is vital, if the patient cannot be properly attended to, what is the
purpose? The nursing home enabled me to care for patients in
rehabilitation and hospice by providing food, transportation, and
engagement. Grandma Mona had no family present, but I could elicit a
smile from her with just kind gestures. Interactions like these
showed me a different perspective, not just the behind-the-scenes
viewpoint, but the firsthand experience that doctors face. As a
young man focused on community service, I understand
the importance of effective communication, especially in a field
where every word can carry immense power. Through my research and
beyond, I will combine my clinical knowledge, leadership skills,
medical experiences, and genuine passion for the field to serve not
only as a doctor, but as an advocate for my community, knowing that
behind every medical report is another human being in need.


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