Madhulika Banerjee is a 24-year-old graduate student in Arizona, working on getting her Master of Science in Cellular and Molecular Medicine. I recently spoke with her about her degree, her research in working to solve colorectal cancer, her recent international experience in medical school in India, and how she stays motivated while maintaining her rigorous schedule.
Aditi: You’ve got two more years at the University of Arizona, and you’re also working on some research. What do you like about it and dislike about it?
Madhulika: It’s a small department, which is nice because it creates an intimate environment between not only my peers but professors as well. It’s definitely a difficult program though. It’s like mini-prep for med school. My program focuses on viewing what’s inside the human body at a cellular and molecular level and relating it back to the medical field. That might include relating things to different disease presentations, drug discovery, or experimental research, just to name a few.
A: What do you hope to accomplish after you graduate?
M: My end goal is to finish masters and get into med school. As I’ve gotten older I’ve definitely realized that it’s incredibly easy to fail at a goal but it doesn’t mean that you stop dead. My back up plan is to apply for a PhD, either in the same department at my school or maybe a different place, doing cancer research. I’m not sure yet what type of doctor I would want to be once I complete med school. Sometimes it’s easier to identify what you don’t want to do. I know I don’t want to be a surgeon or an OBGYN.