Danielle - Narrowing Down My Final Project Ideas

This last week as a 3M Young Scientist Challenge finalist, I have been reviewing research papers for applying machine learning to the range of neurological and psychiatric illnesses that I spoke about potentially addressing in my entry video - with this list of illnesses shown again here for reference, along with their impact in terms of number of people affected and cost to the U.S. health care system.

There are so many opportunities for applying machine learning to neuroscience, but also so many technical factors in choosing which illness to focus on, that it has been a tough choice, but exciting and serious work. 

What struck me most while reading papers about the symptoms and outcomes of these illnesses, however, was not the sheer magnitude of those numbers, but I began to see the patients behind the cases and case studies I was reading. So many of these illnesses are devastating to those affected and their families, and they apply across age and demographics like race and economic status. This made me feel more connected to the idea that I am doing medicine, although I cannot yet directly treat these patients. This reminds me why I want to be a physician.

Here is a video blog of me discussing some of my feelings as I went through this process.