Tuberculosis is one of the most prevalent diseases in my country (found in 4/1000 Indians). Since my childhood I used to hear haunted stories about tuberculosis as people considered it as a social stigma and fatal disease. But from television, government campaigns and by reading books I realized that tuberculosis is curable. Still I had certain misgivings as to why a person with simple cough gets cured in 3 days and a person with tuberculosis takes longer time to cure. In my limited sphere of knowledge I was not able to give way to my thoughts, I wanted to know more about such diseases and plunder them, so I decided to pursue medical field as my career. My growing passion for biology paid off and I scored 98.6% in science and topped my school in science in secondary school examination (X grade). To add up in higher secondary school examination (XII grade) I scored 96.3% in science (physics, chemistry, biology). I cleared pre medical entrance examination and got admission in Government Medical College, Nagpur, one of the largest and sought after colleges for medical studies in India to pursue my undergraduate studies.
I developed proclivity towards biological sciences in 2nd year I got to know in detail about various micro-organisms causing several infectious diseases from Microbiology including micro bacterium (causative agent of Tuberculosis). It was like diving into ocean full of information about cell structure, physiology and pathogenesis of numerous bacteria, viruses, fungi, parasites etc. I got information about various toxins like cytolysis, hemolsins, endotoxins, exotoxins etc. by which microbes attack human beings and other hosts. I learnt in gross immunology, hum oral immunity and cell mediated immunity by which human beings are protected against possible infection. It was high time for me to get gorged with information about mycobacterium and related species.
Then coming to final year I got to know about newer methods of detection and culture of mycobacterium like ‘ BACTEC 460’,identification of isolates by nucleic acid probes and high pressure liquid chromatography of my colic acids which have replaced the traditional methods like Lowenstein Jensen medium and Middlebrooke 7h10. I also got acquainted with tests for diagnosis of AIDS like ELISA, Western blot, RT PCR (Amplicor), b DNA (Quantiplex), DNA PCR.
During the four year period of my under graduation I have performed various laboratory experiments and mastered techniques like Zeihl Neelson staining, Gram’s staining, stool examination, histopathological and hematological experiments, biochemical serum assays etc. Furthermore, during my internship training program I had the opportunity of examines and monitoring diseased patients closely and learning bone marrow aspiration, lumber puncture, pleural tapping, ascetic fluid tapping etc. In my 2 months rural posting in Saoner, I conducted a survey of 100 random families ,calculated morbid conditions and tried to find out cause of morbidity which came out to be unhygienic living milieu. I also conducted a survey of examining 100 school children (age group 6 – 8 years) and found that the most common infection among them was upper respiratory tract infection. From all this I came to conclusion that rather than employing empirical therapy, proper knowledge of causative organisms and likewise use of appropriate drugs is necessary to cure patients.
I have presented seminars on topics like ‘Glycolysis and Gluconeogenesis’, ‘Cell Culture Methods’, and ‘Chronic Granulomatous Diseases’. I have also participated in various quiz, drawing and painting and debate competitions held in my school and college. I organized ARENA-2002 (Annual sports meet) as co-secretary and was a part of Decoration committee of RENAISSANCE-2002(Annual social and cultural meet). I have special liking for computers and have learnt ‘Advanced Programming in BASIC language’, ‘Computer concepts and BASIC language’, ‘MS DOS and d BASE’ and ‘Fundamentals of LOGO’ in my school. To hone my skills further I am presently doing course on ‘MS-CIT’, and C language.
In my opinion biological sciences being compilation of microbiology, immunology, cell and molecular biology, genetics etc and has the ability to prosper and expand enormously due to unexplained nature of infinite micro-organisms. Targeting the discovery of cell structure and genome of micro-organisms, cheaper methods to identify them and newer drugs to kill them seems to be the most promising aspect of biological science.Developing drugs lethal to mycolic acids, lipoarabinomannan, arabinogalactan, peptidoglycan or producing defects in KatG, rpoV,erp genes (responsible for virulence of mycobacteria) and Tat, Nef and Vpu genes(responsible for virulence of HIV) can be made possible by research in biological science. Discovery of newer drugs like ‘Tenofovir’ and ‘Emtricitabine’ which block HIV reproduction for treatment of AIDS has turned out to be cornerstone in the field of biological science. I therefore find Masters and PhD in this field as the right career option for me to increase my gamut of knowledge.
UK being a land of opportunities for intellectuals and researchers of various fields I think charging myself with graduate degree from UK would enhance my career and help achieve my goal. Surfing the web pages I came to know about the MSc in Medical Microbiology offered by University of Liverpool, which I think is best suited to my requirements of achieving my dream of ‘tuberculosis free INDIA’. Being a doctor I have seen many patients closely and mastered many techniques useful to treat patients, I think it gives me added advantage over others. Taking the lines of Robert Ingersoll, ‘Reason, Observation and Experience-the Holy Trinity of Science’.
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