Looking at me you would have never known that I had spent most of my childhood growing up in a rural village of Nepal, solukhumbu in a low-income family; surviving on dollar a day. A dollar might sound dubious but when I was a child even a dollar brought happiness to families around me. A dollar was enough to feed a small family in the remote village of Himalayas where I grew up and at a time when there was no supply of basic necessities such as transportation, telephone and electricity.
Our daily life was simple and serene but also grounded with its own challenges.
My memory still takes me back to that day, when I carried my little sister on my back for an hour to the nearest clinic with my mother, in search of a treatment for a health condition that we had no knowledge of. It was the longest hour of my life. We eventually discovered that my sister was suffering from pneumonia and was quickly provided medication by Dr.
Raj. That encounter with Doctor Raj made me realize that he was not just a “doctor” but someone special who had the capability of using his knowledge to heal the human body and mind. The competency of a drug, I realized had the power to totally transform a person’s life and I saw this happening in front of me that day with my sister. By witnessing that single event, I felt transformed because that day a seed was planted in my mind, which was a desire to one day become a pharmacist just like him.
Several years following that event, I moved to America to join my family and during that time I spent a considerable amount of time trying to understand my new environment. In the streets of New York City, I witnessed quite a lot of homeless people which I realized later was primarily due to drug addiction. It was not just the effects of drugs that interests me but the drugs itself as an object that started to fascinate me. I started to wander why is it that drugs have such a powerful effect on our mind and body.
The more I delved into it, the more I gravitated towards my existing passion for understanding the body and mind which further led my interest in medicine particularly Pharmacy. During the senior year of my college, I travelled to Louisiana as an exchange student at University of Monroe Louisiana to work with Dr. Garvey who also became my mentor. Though I always had a passion for the sciences, I always felt inadequate in science related subjects but Dr. Garvey helped me shift my emotions from fear to confidence through guidance and assistance. In addition, as a research assistant he allowed me to shadow in his lab, assist him in his laboratory work, and encouraged me to ask questions on drug composition, drug misuse, side effect and treatment, topics which fascinated us both. I also had an opportunity to work with Dr. Garvey on his ongoing research, “Cognitive Reflection and Fear Perception” and participated in Annual Psychology Symposium. Working with Dr. Garvey, I was determined and convince to go back to school and ready to take on the courses that I had found difficult before.
After a semester at Louisiana University, an earthquake incident hit Nepal and I decided to return back to Solukhumbu, for an Earthquake relief project to support the victims and community that have been affected. It was my first time returning to solukhumbu after twelve years. I was excited with progression in the community development however, I also witnessed insufficiency in advancements of healthcare. This issue was felt especially during the crisis of earthquake due to hundreds of physically injured people and created a feeling of helplessness. This feeling of helplessness propelled me towards my vision of going back to school again and complete my science pre-requisite and pursue an education in pharmacy.
Today I chose Pharmacy as a profession because I am passionate about learning drug composition, mechanism and its impacts on human body. Moreover, what intrigues me about the study of drugs is just how every year new medications are created and marketed yet many diseases still remain incurable. I have confidence in me that pharmacy as a career is exciting and well suitable to my personality because I am curious about the emerging diseases, the manufacture of new drugs and alternative treatment with the collaboration of advance technology. Finally, what makes this occupation so striking to me is the flexibility, its stability, respect and the difference an individual creates by educating the patient and helping the community.