As the convention states, a medical student is fundamentally different from a computer science student, when judging on the basis of what conventions they consider as fundamental.
For example, a medico appreciates how the sciences of splanchnology is a layer upon histology which in turn lies upon cytology and a student well versed in computer sciences acknowledges that android runs upon a Linux kernel which in turn communicates with the processors and hardware using binary. Both the disciplines are about layers of complexity one above another with emergent properties at higher level of organisation.
Medical science, decodes its way down towards the realm of biotechnology and up towards population dynamics where it merges with sociology and the computer science, works upwards towards effective programming and probably artificial intelligence from the minute logic gates and transistors.
Their directions of innovations is what is fundamentally different. One is about finding out the cause of a given complex system while rendering it explainable by simple components, where as the other is about generating complicated systems using the simple existing resources.
But both of them, have the same goal : welfare of humanity. Often, they serve their purpose differently, but more often than not, they are blended into togetherness, as exemplified by algorithms of diagnostic machines like CT scans at the top to the digital thermometer at the bottom.
Like the demand and supply curves of a price by quantity plot, they intersect at some intermediate point, a point at which both these sciences could be embraced by the same individual and attain a successful equilibrium of discovering and solving problems. At that sweet ideal spot, every new technological innovation has a purpose in healthcare and every need in healthcare finds an opportunity to better itself using technology.
It is quite a horrible analogy, merging in a concept of economics to tie in medical and computer sciences. But, what it does provoke us to think about is that, complete ignorance in either of these fields even for a person from a completely different discipline is not beneficial.
The world shall thrive when the everybody can diagnose when to call for expert help when there is something wrong with their bodies. The world shall thrive when everybody can write themselves a program in a language of their preference that would take care of their repetitive personal tasks which require no creative intervention.
At the end of the day, the medical science is craving to find out algorithms to cure specific diseases while the computer science is craving to yield chaotic yet creative behaviour out of algorithms. What a field is working towards is exactly what the other one is working away from.
What interests me is that sweet spot in the middle, which is probably dynamic in nature, where both the sciences merge and serve each others need while solving each others problems.
With that mission in my mind, I code. Even though, I am a medical student. I know, I shall never sit in a conventional exam where I would be tested upon my knowledge of codes. Yet, I truly believe that such times await me, in which I will have to use wisdom from the computer sciences to solve a problem in medicine.
That’s why when I learn coding, besides my normal medical studies, I do it only in terms of projects. I learn as minimal of theory and basics as possible. And then, dissect and debug down the completed projects of mine to understand the inner workings of the algorithms I have used.
Fueled by the thought that emergent properties appear at higher organisation levels, I take the completed project as given and then learn a little of basics to substitute and understand the effects of those. Ultimately, building another project as the icing on the cake.
Thus by combining the top down and bottom up principles of learning, I try to maximise the fun and understanding of the sciences I am interested in. The reason why, these two approaches work so well together, I believe, has to do with the fact that almost every order of growth in nature is that of exponential, giving birth to non linear dynamics of multiplying and diminishing complexity as we dive deeper or fly higher with what we had started.
To finish this off, here is my GitHub Repo where I upload every project I complete in coding.