Friday, September 10, 2010

Where's the love?

Unlike the majority of my classmates, whose degrees are in animal science, my undergraduate degree is in biology. This leads me to say things like, "I love cells!" and, "I miss biochemistry lab..." or "It really is all about electrons, isn't it?" at which point my classmates roll their eyes and shake their heads.

In my mind, medicine is as much a science as biology or chemistry or physics. In fact, just as history, literature, languages, philosophy, and art can be collectively studied as the humanities, medicine is truly the collective study of biology, chemistry, physics, psychology, and, I would argue, art and language as well.

Our curriculum begins with the study of anatomy, a subject which is somewhat set apart from the rest. It is both a foundation and a culmination. The organism must operate within the boundaries of its anatomy, but, as they say, form follows function. Since returning from spring break, we have embarked upon our study of physiology, the functions that follow said form.

I love physiology. We talked current and resistance, concepts I first encountered in physics, when we were learning cardiovascular physiology. We talked mass action, one of the most important concepts in chemistry, when we were learning acid-base disturbances as well as endocrine physiology. I love making those connections and seeing how what we're learning fits into the larger context of what I have already learned through my biology curriculum, but I often feel like the only person who sees those connections.

Those connections are the whole point. I am not in school to learn to be a doctor. I am in school to acquire (or at least to begin to acquire) the body of knowledge that is medicine, which will allow me to be a doctor.

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