A Most Remarkable Teacher Essay

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A Most Remarkable Teacher

A most remarkable high school teacher first aroused my interest in medicine when he invited me to take a special advanced microbiology course at night. He (Mr. Wiles) had worked for years in the medical field before retiring to teach school. Spending many hours with us, he constantly reaffirmed his belief that we could make a positive contribution to society through a career in medicine. Shortly after my graduation, Mr. Wiles died of lung cancer. During his last months, as I visited him, walked with him, chopped wood for him, I anguished over my helplessness as his pain grew and his life diminished. The doctors couldn't do much to reverse that process, but at least they could t~ to ease his pain or Blow
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Working part-time in a hospital, I followed doctors around, bombarding them with questions. I watched physicians interact with their patients, with each other, and with other medical personnel. I caught a glimpse of their thinking process, and I realized that medicine was the career I had been seeking. In medicine, I could try to master the sciences, while staying rooted in a people-oriented medium. Medicine was, for me, a natural and obvious career choice.

Today's physician must be able to combine science with an art--the science of medicine and the art of working with people--sick people. Nobody goes to the doctor for fun. They go because they have problems. And while doing anything possible to solve the scientific problem, the physician must be able to communicate skillfully with the patient. Perhaps that is the greatest task: gaining the patient's trust and allaying his (or her) fear, setting the mental stage for the healing process.

How am I prepared for this? On the science side, my academic record speaks for itself, demonstrating an ability to comprehend concepts in a classroom. But I have also had occasion to pursue other academic interests. In 1985, I co-authored a supplementary math text to aid students with calculus and then taught basic calculus classes at BYU. This year, I joined a research team in their candid study of neurological variations in prenatal stressed male rats. We will publish two (male rat) peers during
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