I am a junior and I am a human biology major. I chose to study this for several reasons: the medical industry is extremely broad and growing (increasing the likelihood of me obtaining a job when I graduate), it is a science that has few math requirements (arithmetic is not my strong suit), and (above all) I want to help people. With my degree, I hope to become one of two things: a nurse or a paramedic/firefighter. The thought of sitting in the back of an ambulance and doing CPR on someone in cardiac arrest excites me greatly. It’s the perfect way to help those who need it most. Who needs help more than someone who would literally die without your assistance?

Information technology and computer science have changed the field of medicine completely within the past several decades. Things like MRI machines, ultrasounds, mammograms, colonoscopies, pap smears and countless other recently developed technologies have transformed the field of medicine into one of preventative care (rather than one that fixes illnesses as they crop up). Using these techniques, doctors can predict the probability of one developing an ailment, and thus can prescribe lifestyle changes to prevent it from developing. This alone has the potential to save and/or improve countless lives. Several decades ago these advancements were unheard of. In the 1960’s, electroshock theory treatments and lobotomies were common place, ruining countless lives due to impure ethical standards and medical ignorance.

Last summer, I took an EMT certification course at Hudson Valley Community College. In the course, my instructor told us of a study that was conducted several years ago that attempted to analyze the pace of change in the field of emergency medicine. Their findings? Every 10 years, 35% of the established protocols are revamped or changed completely. That is insane, and the pace of change is only going to increase.

I am entering the field of medicine at a very interesting time. Long established techniques and technologies are rapidly changing as we obtain more knowledge about our bodies and how they work. There is no telling what will be standard practice 10 years from now. 3D printed prosthetics? Cloned organs? It sounds like science fiction, but it is not. Before we know it, these new technologies will be common place in hospitals around America.

When Arthur C. Clarke said: “any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic”, he was right. If doctors from the 1960’s walked into a hospital today, they wouldn’t believe their eyes.