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Sarah Jednak

Before coming to Columbia and starting my pathway into a career in medicine, I wore quite a few different hats. Originally, I began school at Purdue University hoping to go into Aerospace and Astronautical Engineering. Although I loved the certainty and technical skill that science and engineering provided, I craved human interaction. I didn’t want my life to be behind a computer screen, programming and never seeing the light of day. I made the drastic decision to change to the complete opposite side of the spectrum – liberal arts, specifically in Public Relations. Still, even being in the workforce surrounded by people, something was equally missing. Public Relations didn’t have the certainty that if you combine A with B your outcome will always be C. I still craved the human interactions but I also craved the technical background that structured the STEM fields.

Medicine seemed like the light at the end of the tunnel. It combined the importance of structure and technical skills that engineering provided, with the value and emphasis on building and maintaining relationships that I had learned from Public Relations. Medicine continues to excite me because it allows me to feel that the decisions I make have a meaningful and direct impact on others. I can firsthand see the outcomes of my choices and help people as though they were my own friends and family. However, the most exciting part about medicine is our ever-growing understanding about the world around us. Every day, there are new discoveries being made and new information we are learning; and getting to be a part of this little piece of history seems like the most exciting job around.