The Meaning of Medicine

The beauty of medicine is that it is so expansive in meaning it cannot be captured by one single definition. As the age old saying goes, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. In this post, we explore the meaning of medicine as defined and interpreted by four medical students. This is part one of a series entitled The Meaning of Medicine


Medicine is a unique opportunity. An opportunity to embody the notion of knowledge as power through an intimate perspective of the human body, and the use of that knowledge to advance the human condition. An opportunity that requires humility of oneself, but the utmost respect and pride of our neighbors.

Christina Ward, M1

Medicine is seeing beyond a patient’s symptoms to recognize her as an individual with strengths, struggles, and stories, all equally apart of her being. It is the vulnerability of saying “I don’t know”, the strength to be an advocate, and the resilience to fight for a patient who won’t fight for herself.

Maggie Kowalski-Reynolds, M2

 Medicine – a discipline founded on benefaction yet polluted by ego. A culture one enters with the hopes of mastery only to find they shall remain a student. A place where even the most brilliant and driven can be easily humbled. Where I fit into this picture, I have yet to find out. But I hope that one day it will reveal itself to me. 

Harry Tsamolias, M3

Medicine, more so what is known as “The Art of Medicine”, is and has always been about people. And historically it had been people, not systems, who provided and comforted the afflicted. Throughout my youth I was the worst kind of patient. Even into my collegiate years I had a poor grasp on healthcare, of evidence-based medicine, of epidemiology — praise God none of that mattered when I would visit my doctor, for he took care of me all the same. Medicine to me, at its core, at its beating heart, relies on people who are willing to joyfully, passionately, and often time nonsensically sacrifice for others. And honestly, I wouldn’t want it any other way.

Justin Coogle, M4

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