@795spar22 I can only speak for myself here, and the answer in my case is: is yes and no in my case. One general statement which I would like to make is that the medical interest does not define the scientific interest of a question. It can be scientifically equally interesting to study a parasite of frogs compared with a parasite of humans. Whether in a world where research funds are limited, and money for research comes from the taxpayer, both studies should have similar priority, is a different question.
Some of my work is geared towards developing anti-parasitic vaccines, some towards developing better drugs, some towards understanding the interaction between the immune system and the parasite. So all of my work in a way is medically relevant, but some more directly than other.
For me, I simply found parasite ways of life fascinating and my drive are purely the curiosity, and that feeling of wanting to know more about how parasites do their stuff! But the parasites I’m studying happen to cause disease in human and hence what I found might be useful for people who want to develop vaccine or better treatments against those parasites.
In fact, one of the parasites I thought is cool have (I would say) nothing to do with human diseases, and that is cuckoo birds. These are birds that live with the parasitic life style and fool other birds to raise and feed cuckoo’s chicks while losing their own chicks. This type is called “brood parasitism.” and it also appear in insect and fish.