Question 1: What are your goals and ambitions in life? How do you plan to achieve them?
The heart is often romanticized as a symbol of love, emotion, and human connection. Yet this is a disservice to how essential it truly is – the gatekeeper of blood, our life essence; an organic machination founded on electricity and intricate plumbing networks. I am working towards becoming a cardiologist, a caretaker of our most essential organ, which medically dictates the line between life and death.
I am starting a dual medical and public health program at the University of North Texas Health Science Center this upcoming Fall. This four-year double degree is the first step in my medical training, which will eventually be followed by a three-year residency in internal medicine and then another subsequent three to fives years fellowship training in cardiology.
A cardiologist performs a variety of interventions to address both anatomical ‘plumbing’ and electrophysiological problems. What is underappreciated, however, is their role in the health maintenance and disease prevention. Cardiovascular illness is associated with chronic ‘lifestyle’ diseases such as diabetes, obesity, and hypertension. In addition to working at the frontlines of medicine, I also have ambitions of contributing to health policy research and advocacy. During my junior year of college, I volunteered with Doctors For Change, a nonpartisan group of healthcare professionals that advocate for public health bills during the state legislative sessions in Austin, Texas. This experience taught me the importance of an expert’s role in policy. Healthcare is a sensitive topic in the national conversation that affects Americans from every walk of life. I hope to combine my evidence-based practice with the power of a patient’s story to positively influence public health policy at the local, state, and national levels.
To accomplish these lofty goals, I am committing to a lifetime of continued education. This starts with my formal training through medical school, and is followed up by apprenticeship in residency and fellowship training. I will supplement this with health policy research through my Master of Public Health degree, and then further through continued community outreach. By tackling health issues through both front-line clinical medicine and top-down legislative action, I hope to make my mark on improving health outcomes for my patients and for my community.
Question 2: What is your vision for your future home? What new technologies do you expect to see?
Environmental sustainability starts at the individual level. In my ideal future home, I would have technologies that align with this idea in order to both minimize my carbon footprint and also to maintain individual accountability for my personal space. Additionally, they would contribute to a built environment that encourages healthy habits.
Imagine the untapped potential of energy sources all around us – the Sun’s rays beating down on our every surface, wind blowing through the grass, and uneaten food wasting away in our trash bins. There is certainly a movement towards home improvement in these areas, from solar panels to composting bins, but imagine taking that a step further!
Solar panels on roofs are the first thought people typically have when they think of home utilization of solar energy. So what about the conversion of sunlight-caused thermal energy into electricity? Turf fields are notorious for retaining and storing heat, so maybe a new lawn material can be developed that allows some sort of transference to a generator that takes advantage of the summer months. This could even be used at a community level to provide a wider source of energy! On top of that, the removal of thermal energy would cool down the fields and create a sustainable ‘cool’ field that enables folks to exercise outdoors and commune for social events.
Wind energy often manifests in the form of wind turbine farms, which are excellent sources of sustainable energy. Yet what if we could make it even more interesting? Could we design new shapes for wind turbines and create art out of them? Kinetic art is highly captivating and creates beauty in a home or community. It is often powered by wind or electricity currently, but what if we took it further and used them as generators of electricity instead? We can create parks and outdoor museums based on this idea. Not only does it encourage going outside, but it also contributes to the culture and happiness of a community.
Finally, composting is a fantastic source of waste reduction, but it is unfortunately not widely done. Many cite odor and convenience as obstacles to their personal implementation, so what about technologies that eliminate these? Using some sort of designed micro flora that subsist on the odor-causing agents that result from composting would make it easier on the senses. They could also be used to break down otherwise non-compostable materials like plastic! Widening the range of composting would make it more convenient in implementing it into your personal garden. An agent could also be added to the compost mixture to expedite the process, or perhaps even to add nutritional value to the soil content. This would encourage sustainable home gardening of healthy, organic vegetables, herbs, and fruit.
My home of the future would combine sustainability and a built environment that enables positive health. These new technologies would not only make your personal living more independent, but also extrapolate onto a community level. We are living in a time of exponential technological development, and I hope that some of these dreams may become a reality.