Medicine Personal Statement Two
“I did not come to this hospital to die,” she laughed to the circle of family around her as she lovingly cuddled her newborn baby. I looked over at Dr.XXX who had been on his feet for at least 40 hours, and had every reason to speed up her work up before falling over the coffee room couch in exhaustion.
“If you dry them a bit, it will make it easier for the baby to latch Ms.XXX,” I mentioned as a mother myself, knowing these few words were the accessory to a huge victory for Dr.XXX and Ms.XXX.
I will not talk about my experiences as a daughter, wife, or mother but rather about the seed of medicine that has grown intertwined with these milestones.
As a daughter, I held my mother’s hand to safely sink my feet into the field of medicine for the first time. I began my intellectual curiosity for medicine through three years in a Health Science Technology program in high school. By the second year, I committed to understanding such topics through service by shadowing physicians from internal medicine to surgical specialties. Grasping for just a piece of the intellect doctors had, I naively attempted and then committed to learning medicine by my own through watching medical lectures and reading medical textbooks during the second year of the program. Over this time, I now held my mothers can to pull her out of her burdening marriage through consoling support. I began to do the same for my commitment towards becoming a physician.
Taking head as a daughter and student, I searched and began a one-year tenure at an optometrist’s office to understand the multifaceted abilities of physicians. While viewing the complexities beyond health care that many physicians must learn, I completed high school with a newly written 36-page list of the necessities I must build in college prior to beginning the training of medicine.
Proactive in my pursuit in entering my 2nd year of nanotechnology research in the summer prior to freshman year. More years of research taught me how to apply scientific questioning through day-to-day life. Presenting my work at group meetings and conferences trained me to think abstractly and problem solve. Outside of the lab, I expanded my love for humanity through working with and reflecting on the challenges for critically ill children in both India and in the Children’s hospital of Chicago. Here I gained fundamental skills to teaching, comfort, and ease patients of many demographics to make their lives feel less clustered. Seeing how differences in thought affected children through their illness sparked me to take several courses in psychology.
Seeking academic aptitude beyond the classroom and benchwork, I trained and conducted clinical research in the Ob/Gyn department at Baylor College of Medicine (BCOM). I used my courses in psychology and work with children to develop an approach for helping comfort patients as they dealt with pre-eclampsia or learned the stillborn status of their unborn child, and celebrating with patients as they welcomed a new baby in their life. My desire to better understand patient-centered care and procedures pushed me to witnessing cesarean sections and hysterectomies each day outside my shifts.
As a wife, I was taught how to give 100% myself for the care of someone else. Marriage quickly showed me how to give this sort of commitment to both the study of medicine and each patient I encountered. More so, the communication between physician and patient is analogous to that of a husband and wife, to where the physician must effectively convey their knowledge for the patient to use and benefit.
“It seems like the baby has clubfoot. Do you know what that is?” As a mother, I saw the view from the bedside. Studying genetics, I was familiar with clubfoot but I also had the notion that it was genetic so I was quite shocked that my child had it. As all parents, we want our babies to be 100% perfect. And especially being a first-time mom, we tend to blame ourselves. As I did more research and on the disease and causes, I thought this formed because the baby didn’t have enough fluid in my belly. So, I doubled and some days even tripled my water in-take foolishly hoping for some miracle that enough water would somehow “fix” the clubfoot and it would be normal. From the bedside, I learned that through the constant reassurance of doctors telling me it will be fine, and it’s not your fault, I could get through my pregnancy without undue stress. As a reassured patient, I began to offer the same sort of comfort through my volunteering.
My father’s sudden death, and the lack of adequate healthcare available to save him changed thedirection of my life. Through painful personal experience, I know how even minimal access to healthcare and medical facilities can be the difference between life and death in war zones andareas of poverty. I intend to become a physician to advocate for disadvantaged communities; as I understand even slight alleviation of their morbidity and mortality has a lasting and significant effect.
Soon after completing 10th grade, I immigrated to America. Whilst at community college, my interest in science and anatomy grew and I began tutoring fellow students in biology and chemistry upon the recommendations of my professors. I developed a zeal and aptitude for tutoring; quickly realizing the enjoyment I derived imparting knowledge to others and teaching the more complex concepts of science in an understandable format.
My first introduction into the clinician’s world was The University Link Medical Science Program (ULMSP). I shadowed anesthesiologists; observed surgeries; studied and presented onHepatitis C; conducted oncology research; and volunteered in a clinic. It was during these experiences that I realized the impact of research and the importance of not just treating but educating patients. While translating for a pediatrician, a child with a bacterial infection kept getting readmitted. His mother, who only spoke Arabic, explained that she had only been administering one dose of the three-dose- a-day antibiotics as she thought it was too much medicine. I delicately explained that insufficient dosing was unwittingly prolonging her child’s treatment and potentially making his infection worse. This experience highlighted how instructions lost in translation can have a significant impact in the medical outcomes of patients and the potential health literacy has to create healthy communities.
After completing ULMSP, I returned as a peer counselor and was promoted to Associate Director (AD). National budget cuts risked the program and I responded by founding an ambassador program. We advocated for ULMSP and received ninety thousand dollars to continue the program. For my work as AD, I received the Bingham Scholarship, which recognizes the most outstanding undergraduate student employee for his academics, communication, and teamwork skills. Compassion, dedication, integrity; these are core components of what makes a great leader and a great physician; and, they are the values by which I intend to lead and practice.
During my Master’s Degree in Chemistry, I soon found a real passion as a teaching assistant(TA) and attained the TA Award for Excellence. Pursuing my love for teaching, I was hired as Professor of Chemistry at two colleges that mainly serve minority students. I researched and applied the most evidence-based techniques of successful teachers introducing my students to activities like the flipped-classroom system, stress management and self reflection.
While teaching college, I volunteered at St. Jude’s Hospital and was fortunate to shadow Dr. Farid, an interventional radiologist. I remember meeting 52 year old “Kevin,” who presented in the ER mute and half paralyzed after suffering a stroke. Dr. Farid ordered IV r-tPA then decided to perform a mechanical thrombectomy. After a challenging yet successful procedure, Kevin regained most of his normal functions back. Though only observing, I felt I was part of a team that saved Kevin’s life that day. I felt moved, invigorated and more determined to become a physician. I want to assume leadership and treat patients with the same aptitude, synchrony, calm and command that Dr. Farid demonstrated.
At 12 years old I knew I wanted a different life for myself. As a physician I want to make a difference in many patients’ lives. Like the clinicians I respect and learn from, I aspire to be guided by compassion and empathy; grow from the challenges I have endured and apply myself in my career with the same academic rigor which has defined my education. I want to develop my clinical and research skills and add these to my teaching skills so that my work helps to reduce health disparities in disadvantaged communities, and promotes a foundation of informed, healthy living across all demographics.
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