Medicine Personal Statement 18

Medicine Personal Statement

The academic aspects of a medical degree inspire part of my commitment to study medicine. My interest in questions such as the immune system and how and why a given disease will manifest itself and produce the symptoms that it does has motivated me to do extensive reading on the subject. Advances in medical research, such as recent developments in the field of somatic-cell nuclear transfer, also never fail to catch my attention. However, my strong academic interests in health sciences are but one facet of my ambition to study medicine. Part of what makes me particularly interested in medicine as a discipline is the power that it has to make a positive difference. I see myself as being temperamentally suited to and highly motivated by the idea of a working role in which I can help people. Indeed, it is this aspect of medicine that draws me most to it.

I have invested a significant amount of my time in gaining as much practical experience as possible in the medical sector, with the goal of receiving a thorough grounding in all aspects of life as a doctor. In August 2010 I spent a week shadowing consultants the Oncology and Dermatology Department of Colchester Hospital. I came away from the placement with an appreciation of the crucial role played by the many people who work behind the scenes in a hospital environment, such as radiologists, researchers and laboratory staff. I gained an understanding of some of the difficulties that doctors face through another work placement that I did in the Paediatrics Department of Southend Hospital. I saw that the hopes that are placed by the relatives of patients in doctors are sometimes enormous, and that doctors need a great strength of character to avoid falling into the trap of blaming themselves for things that are in fact beyond their control.

Over the last year I have had various opportunities to be more directly involved in providing care for others.For example, in July I spent six weeks working in a school for the mentally challenged in India. In often trying circumstances, I was proud of the role that I was able to play in helping the children. In many cases the children of the school had suffered varying degrees of neglect. I found that simply by presenting myself as a friendly face, I was able to bring a measure of comfort into their lives. For me, being able to help was almost indescribably gratifying. The experience strengthened my belief that I am suited to a role in which I provide care for others.

In addition to my voluntary work, I enjoy a number of other pursuits and hobbies. I am vice-captain of my local cricket team, which brings with it the responsibility of making preparations for upcoming fixtures. I am also a helper at my local church, where I assist the priest during Mass. Through helping out in this way I have met people from all walks of life who worship at the church. The position also requires me to make announcements in church, something which has improved my confidence in my public-speaking skills.

Over the next year I hope to gain further work experience to prepare me for medical school, both in hospitals and in care-giving facilities more generally. Since September I have been volunteering in a local nursing home. At the home I help the residents carry out every-day tasks such as eating meals, and also help organize daily activities for them.As with my experience at the school in India, I enjoy the challenges and the rewards that caring for people in need brings. Within the short space of time that I have been doing this work I have found that my levels of patience and my ability to empathize with the difficulties that those who have health problems experience on a daily basis have both increased significantly. I look forward to learning more about the skills of caring for people as I continue with this voluntary work over the next year.

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