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Brian Bosworth '95, Physician

Classics

An academic opportunity

My fate as a physician had been sealed well before I entered Princeton in the fall of 1991. The intricacies and hidden secrets that lie within the human body had always piqued my intellectual curiosity, and the opportunities to profoundly impact people's lives always seemed to me to be boundless. My challenge at Princeton was to set out on a path to medical school that was as intellectually stimulating and personally gratifying as possible. Indeed, I came to Princeton because it afforded me the unique opportunity to take the prerequisite courses for medical school, while allowing me to engage in an in-depth study of a seemingly disparate field -- classics.

Connecting classics with medicine

My interest in classical languages and culture traces back to middle school, when I began studying Latin, and several years later in high school, when I began studying ancient Greek as well. Both the poetry and the prose were rich in history and allegory. Journeying back to these epic lands was enthralling. And I looked forward to continuing my newfound passion in college. Interestingly, though, I soon realized that pre-med studies and classical studies were not so disconnected as they may at first seem. Reconstructing Ciceronian Latin into intelligible English syntax was closely akin to solving organic chemistry reactions. Each discipline provided me with perspective on the other, with complementary modes of critical analysis. I even combined medicine and the classics in my senior thesis, ''The Perception of Doctors in the Early Roman Empire.''

From studying the classics, I have learned that medicine, from its foundation, has been not only a science, but also an art. In the nearly 10 years since graduating, I have completed medical school, a residency, and a chief residency, and I am now well into my fellowship in gastroenterology. Having spent so many years studying the sciences, I am forever grateful for the opportunity to have focused my Princeton education in a different area.

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