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When I entered my first year at the University of Cincinnati (UC), I was confident in my pursuit of

a career in medicine. This confidence was further solidified through challenging coursework, serving
patients, and gaining physicians perspectives while shadowing. As I progressed into coursework
integrated with student-led scientific journal discussions, I realized the substantial contributions
research has made to the practice of medicine. I began searching for more articles to read in my spare
time. I read papers on topics ranging from drug-nutrient interactions with the potential to diminish the
effects of life saving therapies, to studies on how taste sensation is initiated via GPCRs and subsequent
signal transduction cascades. These piqued interests of mine were fostered by the lab, where I found
deep enjoyment in the scientific quest for expanding our understanding of the world around us. I helped
unveil novel functions for the nutrient-sensing pathway, mTOR, within pancreatic islets, and
immediately thought of how this knowledge could contribute to generating stem cell therapies for
diabetes. My view of the medical field began expanding at a-rapid pace. The thought of attending
graduate school and making a career out of finding answers to unexplored questions was thrilling.
However, I dreaded the idea of having to choose between patient interaction and innovative research.

I contemplated solely applying to medical school and performing research alongside patient
visits, but I knew from clinical observations that my time spent doing research would be limited.
Alternatively, obtaining a PhD would prepare me for a career in generating novel therapies for treating
diseases, but I would not be the one delivering the treatments. This struggle between MD and PhD went
on for quite some time, until I heard about the MD/PhD degree that would put me in the best position
of both worlds. I learned of the physician-scientists role, imagining them as a liaison between the
scientists pursuit of advancing medicine through innovative research and the physicians
implementation of those answers into precision healthcare. I instantly knew this was the perfect option
for me. As a physician-scientist, I would maintain the human element of medicine, while also
investigating patient-focused questions by extending their care from the bedside to the bench.

Many physician scientists have informed me that there are not enough hours in the day to be
both an exceptional scientist and physician: either research lags or administrative demands of patient
care pile up. I appreciate the candid feedback I have received but am still determined to pursue the
MD/PhD route because I know this is how I can have the greatest impact in healthcare. I want to
navigate the world between bench and bedside to make advancements in precision medicine, providing
tailored care based on each individuals needs, and that is why I want to be a physician scientist.