I first was interested in medicine when I was 12 and dreamed of one day building a human like AI. In college I dropped Premed in about two weeks. I thought I could always enroll in a post bac program if I changed my mind. In college I fell in love with the study of mathematics and physics. I completed my studies with an academic paper in combinatorics. That summer I self taught programming and within a year I was working as a software engineer in programmatic native advertising. I did quite well and built a community for myself which was hard to leave, but I didn’t come from dreams of medicine and AIs to stop at software engineer.
During my escapades through software engineering, my grandpa became very sick after receiving an infected epidural rendering him partially paralyzed. Not long after one of my closest childhood friends passed away from opiate addiction which began with his prescribed dose of Percocet. I have every incentive to be a good doctor. My mom, who suffered from fibromyalgia for the entirety of my life nearly cried when I told her that the medical community now considered it a valid diagnosis. Her mother recently passed from emphysema. Her brother from a heart attack - a former senator and before that a medical malpractice attorney, he wasn’t taking his medicine. These events imparted a sense of duty on me, to improve the medical community by joining it and working for change.
At work as a software engineer I learned more about myself than I did about technology. Meanwhile, I learned an outstanding amount about technology. I fell into a lesser known field of development called data infrastructure engineering and in a team of 3 completely rebuilt the database our company used. Within the company I became known for my ability to diagnose discrepancies. Databases are lumbering systems constantly over-encumbered by an influx of signal; drowning in a sea of noise. Seconds of downtime translate to hours of work. My ability to diagnose and fix broken pipes quickly led me to suspect that my path forward was through medicine. I enjoyed that aspect of my job so thoroughly that it became the foundation upon which I was able to quit my job and go back to school, building a new career. In medicine, even the ability to program seems extremely important. Data infrastructure is also a key component of the study of Bioinformatics which utilizes large data sets and computer visualization techniques to improve our understanding of Biology.
Interestingly enough, the study of Astrophysics is wholly applicable to the field of Organic Chemistry. I have utilized my intuitions in orbital motion to help me understand the de-localization of charges. My mathematical paper in college on combinatorics seems to have similar relevance to the field of Organic Chemistry where reactions are measured and recorded in a system eerily similar to Graph Theory. One wonders if the same mathematical applications of theorems there could have consequences to the study of organic classes of molecules. For fun, and to help solidify my understanding before the MCAT, I have been making "simulators" of various effects. The one I am building now is a population simulator which is meant to demonstrate selection. Tools such as these are tragically unavailable to most of us. I must confess to being in a prolonged and profound state of computer illiteracy for the better part of my undergraduate education. I now believe that the study of computer science is crucial for all people. I have done my best to spread knowledge by creating my own lectures on Java programming which a peer of mine used to kick-start his career in programming.
Perhaps what is most interesting to me, and what I believe to be the next area of research, is the study of dynamic systems, or in layperson's terms, the study of chaos. I believe that through the study of partial differential equations relevant to the body, in addition to networks, and through the application of numerical methods, we will be able to make advances in understanding cell signaling and indeed all bodily processes. This would make me an ideal candidate for study in Bioinformatics or Biophysics but science is reliant on observation too. Good observation happens in contact with people, not in a lab environment. One can only be expected to stay locked up in a dark room for so long before they miss the company of others, too. I hope to utilize all of these mathematical tools where applicable. In some cases they will not be necessary. These are perhaps the most interesting cases; not the least. I doubt I will be the first person to think of applying a Fourier transform or a numerical analysis of a PDE. The truly magnificent discoveries are the ones that make the simple seem complex. There is no way to predict what Math and what Physics will play into those discoveries ahead of time. It's best to just study them all.