Medical Miracles on the Horizon

The world and its inhabitants will face a multitude of problems in the
21st Century, including drug addiction, deadly disease, violent crime, warfare
and hostility, hunger, and homelessness to name a few. All of these critical
issues have been present to some extent in the 20th Century and, left unsolved,
will continue to plague society and mankind as we enter the new millennium. As
we rapidly approach the next era, new issues of equal or even greater importance
for mankind will almost certainly arise. I personally envision health issues,
concerns related directly to medicine, as the central, most critical and
comprehensive problem facing leaders of the 21st Century.
In my opinion, physicians and others associated with the medical
profession will participate in one of the most vital and urgent roles entering
into the new era. This is one of the reasons that I intend to pursue a career
in the medical field after I graduate from The University of Tennessee. Of all
occupations in the next millennium, medicine will be perhaps the most important
and influential in combating the problems of mankind and in solving them.
People in the field of medicine will continue, as they have in this
century, to address and participate in almost all concerns. For example,
methadone is currently being used as a therapeutic intervention for some drug
addictions. In addition, various medications are now being given in the
treatment of criminals, like anti-psychotic drugs to curb aggressive or violent
behavior in schizophrenics. A new and improved group of antidepressants is
also being used to treat and reduce the growing rate of suicide in all ages of
our society. Because a very high percentage of homeless people suffer from
psychological problems and/or drug addictions, doctors may also eventually play
a larger role in prescribing medication for these individuals. Concerning
warfare that may be present into the 21st Century, the medical community will be
required to detect and treat a variety of injuries and illnesses, just as they
have had to decipher and work on patients who fell victim to the Gulf War
Syndrome. Any future wars may have even more insidious side-effects due to the
use of lethal chemicals.
Cures have been found for many illnesses, such as polio, smallpox, and
various childhood diseases in the present century, but other health concerns are
manifesting rapidly. One of the most important task doctors and research
scientists may face is to fight new strains of deadly diseases in the coming
years. Outbreaks of eboli and the emergence of diseases that are drug-resistant
to antibiotics threaten the survival of mankind.
If humanity is to thrive and prosper in the 21st Century, each
individual must do his or her own part to deal with the problems that are
presently in existence as well as to prepare for the potential problems of the
future. The path I will choose in solving some of the current and future
considerations for mankind is the field of medicine. In other words, I want to
be a part of the solution for the issues that face my own generation, as well as
benefiting past and future generations. No one person can solve all of the
dilemmas. It will take a concerted effort by a multitude of individuals in a
variety of occupations and by concerned humanitarians who work for their own
causes to improve living conditions and the quality of life in the next era.
Doctors, scientists, teachers, social workers, politicians, leaders,
and virtually every other segment of the population must team up in a joint
effort to eradicate the serious issues facing our society in the 21st Century.
For example, the leaders of the 21st Century must seek new methods and
alternative plans to ensure the "well-being" of others as the Preamble of the
United States Constitution declares as a basic "right." The leaders in our
government need to go out into society, talk with people, study the pertinent
concerns, and actively participate in finding solutions. They should ask
questions such as: what should we do, how do we do it, and what is working for
you? These leaders need to enlist the help of the medical community so that
they may better realize and more fully understand that the hospitals and
research centers need additional funds for new treatments, better facilities,
and updated technology. In addition, a comprehensive health care program must
be developed that is satisfactory to the citizens as well as to the health care
In the field of medicine, we have