Jingda Liao is an international student from Fujian province in China, studying the MBBS medicine programme at King’s.
I believe Medicine is the most important aspect of science. It has probably saved your life. Without the good health that medicine promotes, lives can be excruciatingly difficult, painful and problematic. Medicine aims to aid and even eliminate these problems, something no other discipline can claim.
Studying Medicine at King’s College London has reinforced my belief that science can work wonders for patients with diseases ranging from depression to coronary artery stenosis and acute renal failure. As a result of numerous medical breakthroughs throughout history people in developed countries around the world can now look forward to longer life expectancies.
Sadly, the benefits of these scientific advances are only slowly trickling their way into less economically developed countries. On the other hand, other forms of technology such as cars and telephones are widely used around the world enriching the lives of countless people. But medicine is unique in that it does not only enrich lives; its sole purpose is to save them.
The inherent value of medicine lies in its wide reaching effects. Everyone has had some contact with medicine within the course of their life. This is true not only in the more affluent West, but also in less wealthy countries. The practise of medicine is different in almost every country in the world, but the principle of healing remains the same.
Some people believe that they can escape the influence of contemporary medicine altogether. With my roots in rural China I can attest to the value of both traditional Chinese medicine and the western medicine which I am taught on my course at King’s. I am willing to bet that it would be impossible to find a person whose life is untouched by medicine in some shape or form. It would however be perfectly plausible to find someone who had never watched television, used a mobile telephone or flown a plane. The point is that medicine is advanced for the purposes of helping everyone. Where other advances help people enjoy their lives, medicine allows people to live in order to enjoy their time.
Ultimately medicine is a very special science. I am sure that medicine’s desire to benefit, support, comfort and aid is unlikely to change because it is part of what defines it. Furthermore we would be hard pushed to find an individual untouched by any form of medicine and healing. While practises of medicine vary right across the globe the intention to heal is and has always been the same.