The Meaning of Medicine, Part II

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 two fourth-year medical students — Kristen Funk and Jimmy Nguyen.

Kristen will be pursuing a residency in internal medicine at the University of Kansas. Jimmy will be pursuing a residency in diagnostic radiology at Indiana University. 



The meaning of medicine to me is the ability to walk with patients through some of the best and worst times of their lives. Medicine is accompanied by moments of joy such as the birth of a child or reaching remission, and also moments of deep sorrow and loss. It is a weighty privilege that few people get to experience in their lifetime.

Kristen Funk


Medicine is the art, science, and substance dedicated to healing. An individual person’s state of health is bound to innumerable variables within themselves and the environment surrounding them; thus the practice of medicine can be expressed in a limitless array of permutations with a scope that involves essentially every aspect of human life. For me personally, medicine represented a potential pathway to finding some sense of meaning in life.

Jimmy Nguyen

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