I’ve always wanted to make the lives of people better. As a youngster I thought the best way to do was to save peoples lives through medicine and so I studied what doctors did and read all that was published about medical procedure. I was the kid doctors either loved or hated because I’d have a hundred different questions for them and a follow up for each. My curiosity and interest in learning stemmed from a deep place of compassion and empathy for people around me. I wanted to help.
When I turned 19 I was a pre-med and accounting major in college. I had an epiphany. As a doctor I’d probably see around 20-40 patients a day. I might really save a few of those people- change their lives entirely or add a few years more to their life. Thinking deeply about this I realized policy as the best option to really moving the needle significantly on how I can shape and engage people and their livelihoods. With a stroke of a pen President Obama helped 36 Million people have access to healthcare. Thats a number I could never do alone, but working through the system it’s something that was enabled and happened.
Now, policy isn’t everything. After President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation or the 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments were pass it didn’t mean slavery and equal rights had been bestowed.
History shows us that it is a strong integration of social, political, and economic aspects that truly moves change. If we had everyone that rioted in Occupy Oakland and everyone that marched for Trayvon in Florida go into political offices and influence policy makers or if they went into think tanks and came up with comprehensive policy solutions- then our system would be engaged and we would all be moving it forward faster.
Imagine a future with that