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Nikhil Karavattuveetil
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But Why?


Why did my uncle and his father die 10 months apart of leukemia?


Why did two neighbors, both non-smokers, develop lung cancer?  Will the radon mitigation system placed in our home really reduce my family’s risk for lung cancer?


Why is my uncle’s wife with Retinitis Pigmentosa going blind before age 45 but her brothers are unaffected?


Why did my friend have testicular cancer on the same side that he kept his cell phone in his pocket?


Why did my dad, an avid runner, require 3 cardiac stents at age 43?  Why is red wine the only effective means of raising his HDL? I’m told my father has congenitally narrow coronary arteries.  What does that mean for me?  When do I need to start taking a statin?


Why did my paternal grandmother and great-grandmother each develop breast cancer at the same age of 63?  How can my sister reduce her risk of developing breast cancer?


Choosing to pursue a career in medicine was an easy decision for me.  By combining my interest in science and math, medicine covers a spectrum of academic challenges while offering an opportunity to positively influence so many lives each and every day.  Not by one physician alone, but by a team of individuals with the same desire to heal the body, mind and spirit.


Having participated on sports teams all of my life, I realize the importance of a team effort in reaching a common goal.  Although I personally received the sportsmanship award for our varsity tennis team, I feel it was an award that should be shared by all team members.  For we cannot win a conference title without a concerted effort by each team member.


Similarly, from the moment patients enter the hospital, they are met by a team of advocates, whose shared goal is to make them feel better.  During my volunteer experience in a community hospital emergency department, I witnessed the rewarding encounters that patients had with a team of volunteers, security guards, patient care coordinators, Spanish interpreters, nurses, physician assistants and emergency physicians.  Only together can they provide the best care for their patients.


I believe an education from Washington University in St. Louis would most suitably prepare me for a challenging career in medicine.  The availability of freshman seminars in medicine would immediately immerse me in my academic pursuits. From, my visit to WashU, I could tell that I was joining a community of students and staff who are similar to me, curious in nature and ready to work hard when necessary. I feel the rigor of this university coupled with the types of students who attend WashU will well prepare me for a future in medicine.

4210 W Irving Rd, Chicago, IL 60641