I'm actually a mechanical engineering major but I want to go to med school. I get a lot of ears perked up when I say that but there are a lot of similarities between the two.
There's a lot of research in the mechanical engineering field that's geared toward orthopedics. I've worked on a project looking at lower back pain. Now I'm also looking into developing a knee simulator to look for differences in surgical techniques or knee implant design that would help patients recover more quickly.
I also volunteer at Fletcher-Allen in the Emergency Department so I get to talk to the orthopedic residents there. So it's kind of full circle. I learn the very basic mechanical aspects behind injury and the make up of the body and then I go into the hospital. Because it's a teaching hospital the residents are really proactive in letting me get involved and teaching me some of the things that they know.
The field of orthopedics is amazing because you see these athletes who become injured and then an orthopedic surgeon can take these world-class athletes and bring them back up to that peak level of performance. If you can help both the elderly and also the elite athletes I just think it's an amazing field.
If I can give a little bit back and try to help other people out who aren't quite as fortunate as myself…. It's just a great feeling when you can help someone out that's really in need.