“Every person holds the right to health care” – Gerhard Bauer
Every single day of being an intern at the UC Davis Institute for Regenerative Cures has been refreshing, exciting, and engrossing. Having the opportunity, over the course of these weeks, to witness the starting point and processes of finding potential cures to diseases that have long existed has conditioned me to a mindset of tangibility for change. Although my time interning has been short, changes in the ways of treatment, in techniques of experiments, or even in the mentality of a patient, researcher, or physician, have been made visible. The reasons for my goal to work in a lab have also changed as I continually realize the depth of research and clinical application. Working in a translational lab, we experience the transformation of ideas into treatments that clinical trials soon follow. Holding clinical trials as our goal throughout this process and being able to witness specific patient problems strengthen the personal objective to see the end result.
During this internship, our cohort was able to take a trip to Clinica Tepati, a student-run clinic that accommodates uninsured patients. Here, I was reminded of my goal to discover ways to more efficiently eliminate the ailments commonly experienced, from diabetes to cardiovascular needs, by the patients seen and of the problems many underrepresented groups encounter when they are unable to receive healthcare due to financial and social hindrances. I realized society’s injustice when regarding healthcare for each person despite its efforts to promote the importance of good health throughout the nation. Today, a person does not truly receive complete medical attention unless he or she is capable of paying for treatment or going through a tedious process, not always guaranteed, to receive grants that will supply one with free treatment. It is not hard to picture a person in need in that certain situation as a friend, family member, or even oneself. Upon our visit, our internship director, Professor Gerhard Bauer stated simply, “Every person holds the right to health care”. This statement has since been molded into my mind as a personal challenge to see this idea applied because it holds true—no matter whom the person is or what his or her situation is, care should be granted without much deliberation.
As a high school student, I am amongst the new generation that must maintain this concern of providing every person the rightful care he or she deserves and encourage the possibility of each person to receive an effective treatment to a disease. By continuing my goal to be an asset in a lab that makes reaching clinical application a top priority, I could apply my desire to see that all are granted easy access to an attainable treatment and protect the true aims to better the conditions of each patient. Contributing to the STEM field is far more than simply finding advancements in technology or curative therapy; it involves bringing attention to current, active issues and understanding that these situations can be acted upon with collective cooperation and returning to the original goals of making a healthy life an accessible, given right.