In this interview series we ask questions to people who are making a difference in our society, it can be big, it can be small, it doesn’t matter, what matters is their contribution. It can be anyone from any walk of life and from any country. Please, do send us suggestions of people whom you think we should interview for this series.
Sharan Krishnappan is a student at North Gwinnett High School Suwanee, Georgia and has won many laurels in academics and extra curricular activities at his high school and state competitions. He has published research papers on Thrombosis in medical and scientific journals and have extensive social work experience. Following are his response to our questions.
1.Tell us something about yourself?
I am a junior at North Gwinnett High School, Suwanee, GA, who has a passion for medicine and servant leadership. Regarding Servant Leadership, I am the current Executive President of my high school’s UNICEF chapter as well as the Service Vice President for my high school’s Beta Club chapter. Many of the clubs that I am currently involved in my school focus on education as well as raising awareness for global problems. In my near future, I hope to make an impact in the field of medicine because I believe that the world’s need for medicine will never be extinguished, the latest example being proven by the Coronavirus pandemic. I believe that medicine is one of the major fields that can enable a person to have a meaningful impact on people of all socioeconomic backgrounds. Due to these passions, I have been involved with the Global Thrombosis Forum (GTF, gtfonline.net) and over the past 3 years, I have grown from a student, author, public speaker, researcher, to a very successful person.
2. Why do you want to choose medicine as a career, what motivated you?
I want to pursue a career in medicine because I believe a career in medicine gives me the best opportunity to make a big difference in my community, while also allowing me to use one of my greatest interests being science. Additionally, through GTF, I have learned that there are many medical conditions that affect a very large number of people across the globe but have next to no awareness of prevention therapies and protocols. Through a career in medicine, I will be able to bring light to these problems and spread awareness for these conditions, so that people will be better prepared to face any obstacles that might obstruct them. However, what motivates me the most, is the ability to impact people from all socioeconomic backgrounds. I believe that in the field of medicine I can help people who need it the most which is my penultimate goal.
3. Who do you see as your role model and why?
A person who I continue to look up to each and every day is my sister, Sharadha. My sister is a person who continues to push me no matter what the circumstances are and gives me guidance that creates a clear path to accomplish what I desire in my future. She is a compassionate, determined, and diligent person who is always looking to help others and work hard towards what she believes in. Using the amazing influence that she has been to me, I hope that they can help me achieve my goal of becoming a surgeon so that I can combine two of my greatest passions, medicine, and service.
4. Given the pandemic of Coronavirus, what changes would you want to see in existing health infrastructure to tackle such issues?
Through the pandemic of Coronavirus, two major issues in the existing medical infrastructure have been brought to light: the affordability of healthcare and the availability of telemedicine. To self contain the virus, people need to call their health care providers as soon as they develop any flu-like symptoms. This will restrict spreading to other family members and other acquaintances. However, in 2018, 27.9 million people lacked health coverage in the U.S., an increase of 1.2 million from 2016. Furthermore, many people also have high deductible plans that place them on the hook for extensive charges that they can’t afford. With these inaccessible options, these people are forced to resort to not going to a healthcare provider, enabling the disease to grow and spread (as evidenced by the Coronavirus’s spread). Additionally, there is the issue of the restriction of telemedicine. Telemedicine refers to the practice of caring for patients remotely through technology and other services, since the provider is not able to arrive. This form is extremely effective during these hard times because it allows the provider to care for the patient without contracting the disease. Unfortunately, telemedicine is blocked because of state licensing rules and insurers’ minimal payment for the program.
5. What are your views on providing quality education to disenfranchised sections of society?
Education is crucial for anyone’s success. Education is the one factor that gives any person from any background the opportunity to reach their greatest dreams and break out of the circumstances they face. By providing quality education to disenfranchised sections of society, we can provide opportunities to many of the brightest minds that are limited by their socioeconomic backgrounds. These bright minds can then provide solutions to the greatest problems that the world faces and make the world a better overall place to live in.
6. Tell us something about your volunteering and social work experience and what did you learn from it?
The community service accomplishment that I’m most proud of is the work I did to help organize children’s events at Rainbow Village, a homeless shelter centered in my community. My job was to design and organize fun activities that children and their parents could enjoy. The event lasted four hours and included five different games and a movie screening with popcorn. This event was important because it provided an opportunity for children and family members to connect in a positive manner. It also was able to increase donations for the shelter by showing that it is a proven success. Regarding my personal growth, it helped me learn that volunteering is important because it enables growth in my community for people who may not be as blessed as I am. Hopefully, with many different volunteers, these young children can grow out of their circumstances and achieve whatever they set their minds to.
7. What are your interests outside medicine?
Outside of medicine, I am very interested in servant leadership and giving back to the community around me through leading various service projects. I enjoy raising money for important causes such as cancer awareness which is why I lead many events for the Relay for Life chapter at my local high school. Additionally, I enjoy playing basketball and I am a Tae Kwon Do first degree black belt.
8. Which is your favorite book? What kinds of books do you like to read?
My favorite novel is 1984 by George Orwell. It is a novel centered around a dystopian society in which a totalitarian regime controls society through many different methods such as propaganda, threats, and censorship. This novel was very forward-thinking for its time and was very relevant considering the current communist nations across the globe and countries that had just succeeded from an imperialistic rule, such as India from Great Britain just two years earlier. I enjoy reading dystopian novels as well as novels that are relevant to current issues because I believe the morals and lessons learned from these novels can be helpful for the present and future.
9. Your message for our readers?
Working hard and working smart are two different endeavors. To be successful, you must work harder than you ever have, but also smarter than you ever have. Working without a purpose is hardly working. Working without effort is hardly working. Working with effort and a purpose will lead you to the top.