Personal Statement Essay Sample
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Personal Statement Essay Sample
Some words remain etched in one’s memory forever. “Caring enriches the world and indifference destroys it,” said my first-grade teacher. Reminiscing about my past brings me to this conclusion: I was not driven into medicine by a dream but by a sense of caring, hard work, and certain destiny.
As a child from the former Soviet Union, I never dreamed of becoming a U.S. citizen, attending Texas A&M University, or having so many opportunities to grow. Destiny had me surrounded by inspirational people who steered my interests toward medicine. From day one, I watched my mother care for people as a physician at work and as a daughter, sister, and mother in a family faced with numerous health problems. Living with my grandmother, I witnessed the power and value of herbal and alternative medicine. In school, motivating teachers deepened my interest in liberal arts, math, and the sciences. I have been privileged to meet people of diverse races, religions, and cultures: Hispanic, Indian and Cambodian roommates; African-American companions as well as Hindu, Jewish, and Christian friends. All these different interactions increased my motivation and desire to understand and care for people.
The same drive has led me to tutor elementary school children and volunteer at a hospital to care for patients with Alzheimer’s. These experiences have confirmed my teacher’s philosophy that caring makes a difference. However, I personally discovered that caring cannot be expressed in words alone; it is expressed in deeds and in the blissful faces of the people with whom I have interacted.
I sought more contact with people as a volunteer at Ben Taub Hospital Emergency Room in Houston. It was there that I realized the importance of language and that words are indeed some of the most powerful and effective tools a physician may use. I could sense a physician’s escalating frustration with the language barrier and found myself empathizing with the patients for whom English was not their native tongue. I experienced a similar kind of frustration, not from language barriers, but from lack of authority and knowledge to help a suffering patient. I recognize now that affection and empathy alone do not cure disease; however, the practice of medicine does. This encounter fortified my ongoing desire and interest to become a physician.
The most profound volunteer experience I have had to date has been shadowing a local family physician, Dr. J. T. L. McNew. Akin to my experiences in the ER, shadowing Dr. McNew has brought not only a proper perspective to working with healthy and sick patients, but has exposed me to some of life’s harsher realities–such as impoverished, pregnant teenagers who, without Dr. McNew’s assistance, would have very limited prenatal care. This experience taught me the importance of counseling and the necessity to treat patients based on individual needs. Moreover, Dr. McNew’s leadership in the community has greatly inspired me. I hope that the communication and leadership skills I acquired as the Director of Programming for Great Issues Speakers Forum and as a member of the Aggie Toastmasters Club will help me make a difference not only in an individual’s life, but also in the community.
In addition to the philosophy of caring, I want my patients and colleagues to feel confident in my knowledge; therefore, academic excellence has always been my priority. As a challenge, I have taken a variety of honors and upper-level science courses. Furthermore, my three-year ongoing research laboratory experience as a Howard Hughes Undergraduate Fellow has given me superior analytical training in science–a critical thinking skill that is invaluable in medicine. Therefore, whether as a family physician or a specialist, I hope that the skills I have acquired thus far will help me provide people with top-quality health care and the personal attention they deserve.
As a physician, I will face people with real problems. I will care for individuals with physical, psychological, familial, financial, and other complex personal dilemmas. Can those people depend on me for proper care? Yes, they can! I believe that my experiences have given me the tools to serve them all. Knowing that destiny and my ambition have brought me this far, it is my caring, hard work, and perseverance that will ensure my future as a practicing physician.
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