My parents and I came to the states as political refugees from Russia in 1996, so my perspective of life in America is atypical. My background has made me want to help those of various cultures, a penchant which will push me to join Doctors Without Borders someday. Both from my research and from the personal experiences of my closest family members, I have become aware that patient’s health care coverage can be a monumental factor in their lives. People often choose one job over another because of the medical coverage they receive. For example, a family friend was diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis recently, and his job did not cover the cost of the required monthly injections—$6000. All joints in the right side of his body were painful and swollen, and the psoriasis was getting worse as well. He would not have been able to continue working without the injections; fortunately, he was able to find a job that covered their cost. But what if he had not? I want to be a doctor so that I can do more research into what medications should be more widely covered, in order to help patients, as well as save money for society as a whole. By serving others, I hope to see the world improve. My upbringing has taught me that regardless of our local ties, we are all members of the much larger world community.
I currently volunteer at The Physician’s Free Clinic, the Helping Hands Free Clinic, and at Grant Hospital, where I perform eye screenings, scribe, and help in the emergency department, respectively. At the clinics, none of the patients have health insurance, and a vast majority of them are immigrants Although this process takes several steps and several months, these lucky, uninsured patients will eventually get their glasses. However, countless others are not as fortunate to receive such treatment, and many of them lose their eyesight. Perhaps if there were more research done relating the loss of eyesight with the loss of productivity for society, there would be a greater effort in preventing blindness.
As an immigrant myself, I am aware that medical attention is needed both at home and abroad. In May of 2015, I went to Nicaragua as part of OSU’s Global Medical Brigades, where I saw dire poverty. These people desperately needed medical attention, and I was more than happy to assist in any way I could. Shortly before our deadline to raise all of our medications for the trip, we were several thousand dollars short of what we needed in medications, which jeopardized our entire plan. By collaborating with OSU’s Pharmacy Department, I was incredibly fortunate to secure a $5000 medications grant. However, this feeling of pride was vastly overshadowed by the feeling that washed over me when I saw the faces of the people whose lives I helped improve.
I have been doing clinical research in the area of Lipidology, and saw a new cholesterol-lowering drug get placed on the market. Although these injections cost thousands of dollars per year per person, they are very powerful, and we have shown that this drug can help decrease the amount of cardiovascular events, such as heart attacks and strokes. While this drug is expensive, hospitalizations, surgeries, and loss of productivity induced by cardiovascular events have a huge toll as well. When these costs are all taken into account, it appears that society would be much better off if more at-risk patients were covered! The trick is identifying who is at risk, and even more importantly, who would benefit from treatment? These questions made me realize that there is a whole field of research out there, which relates to optimal health coverage for optimal benefit. I want to become a physician so that I can continue pursuing this vitally important work, as well as so that I can join an organization such as Doctors Without Borders to help an even wider community. If I can help people see themselves as members of the world community, rather than just their regional communities, then I can improve life for more individuals.
The Ohio State University - Current Undergrad, Neuroscience
ACT Composite: 31
ACT English: 31
ACT Math: 36
SAT Composite: 2230
SAT Math: 730
SAT Verbal: 730
SAT Writing: 770
AP Biology: 5
AP Chemistry: 4
AP Calculus BC: 4
AP Statistics: 5
AP Latin: 5
AP US History: 5
AP European History: 5
SAT Mathematics Level 2: 750
AP Psychology: 5
AP U.S. Government & Politics: 5
AP Macroeconomics: 5
SAT Subject Test in U.S. History: 780
SAT Subject Test in Chemistry: 780
Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems: 130
Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills: 130
Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behavior: 131