Why I Want to Study Medicine

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The sun exploded into a million shades of orange. I sat, friends at each side, atop a monstrous pile of boulders. I looked over the vastness of Joshua Tree National Park, and saw a glimpse of myself. Love filled my soul; love of people, love of family. The backcountry has always helped me find this love; it has been my personal northstar, shepherding me toward research and medicine. I started backpacking at 13, trekking across the winter-harsh lands of Idaho and Montana. It was difficult, but despite this, a feeling welled within me that pushed me forward. This feeling warmed my numb fingers and soothed the ache in my thighs. It drew me close to my friends, fostering the teamwork required. Each new trip allowed me moments of introspection. The teamwork led to trust, trust led to caring, caring led to empathy; eventually I understood the satisfaction of helping others. This is how the backcountry shaped me. Over the next year many choices I made would be based on these lessons. When I was in high school, I had no inkling of where I was going, but I tested the waters. I volunteered at the Mrs. Tewillegar Wildlife Foundation and did a rotation observing anesthesiologists in San Francisco. I was a green advocate and spent much of my time reading about and debating the travesties visited upon the environment.
In my young explorations I found that medicine and environmental politics peaked my interest. In my first semester at Pitzer College, I started to study

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