Medicine Personal Statement
Medicine holds for a fascination for me which is indeed intellectual, academic and scientific, but equally it also strikes me as a pursuit of great human importance, for the patient, of course, but also for the doctor. I was always interested in the workings of the body from my childhood, but it was seeing a doctor in action that seized my imagination and first inspired me to want to study medicine. After a sports injury to my hand I made regular visits to a fracture clinic, where I received the reassurance, advice and support of the orthopaedic surgeon as well as enjoying his humour. The comfortable rapport set up between patient and doctor was delightful and wonderfully comforting, as I saw the doctor’s anxious anticipation of my recovery and his clear satisfaction in the successful outcome. Medicine seems to me to be almost as much an art as it is a science, and calls for many complex human qualities. My Biomedical Sciences degree has certainly equipped me with a thorough understanding of the fundamental principles underlying the treatment of disease, and I have developed a particular interest in haematology and pathology, most specifically in the science of induced pluripotent stem cells. But my observation of doctors in action, and my own work experience, have impressed upon me the need above all for the human qualities of patience, understanding, and strong nerves. Few roles in the world, it seems to me, can equal that of the efficient doctor, and it is for this reason that I wish to pursue the graduate course in Medicine. My most informative experience in the medical world has been my placement at the Manchester Royal Infirmary, where I observed and shadowed healthcare teams, witnessing a wide range of different sorts of medicine. I witnessed doctors working in paediatrics, A&E, and the eye hospital. What struck me most was the central role of teamwork in hospital medicine. Varying clinical groups worked together efficiently to ensure that patients received the most appropriate care. Clear communication was essential, as were decisiveness and quick thinking, particularly in the turbulent A&E department. I saw a doctor in paediatrics carefully distracting a young patient while discreetly making a skilled examination. I witnessed surgery for cataracts and strabismus, and came to understand the need for mental concentration, manual dexterity and sheer physical stamina in the surgeon. Some patients could not be cured, including a newborn child with haemolytic disease, and I saw the anguish that sometimes is inevitable in the life of a doctor. I felt that the whole experience showed me what medicine is really like, without any false glamour, but at the same time confirming my growing conviction that there is no better, no more humanly satisfying profession in the modern world.
Other types of work experience have, I believe, contributed to the skills and qualities I shall need as a doctor. I have worked in a care home as a volunteer, dealing with the frail and vulnerable. What struck me here was the importance of a positive and optimistic manner in helping patients to recovery. I have also worked for a charity for the blind, learning much of the disorders that can lead to blindness, and of the inevitably limited lives led by the visually impaired. My brief experience as an assistant dispenser in a pharmacy gave me a rapid insight into the responsibilities of that area of medicine.
Outside my medical interests and studies I have many occupations and interests, all in some way helping to develop the skills I shall need as a doctor. I have a senior advisory role at university, mentoring younger students in their academic studies. This calls for leadership and the ability to educate and explain. My artistic interests include fashion design – making and wearing my own clothes – and 3D design and manufacture, particularly of jewellery. Like the surgeon I may one day be, perhaps, I use my hand-eye coordination and manual dexterity in stone setting and enamelling. I also play basketball, and enjoy dance.
I am the first member of my family to go to university, and the sense of privilege is never far away from me. I believe that I am a well-motivated and hard-working individual, with a true commitment to my chosen career, and that I combine intellectual curiosity with a strong sense of my responsibility to those around me, and of the crucial importance of teamwork, and of the need for the humility to be able to learn from my peers. The doctors I have talked to have all stressed the physical and emotional demands of the career, but none of them has ever denied its rewards, and it for these reasons that I hope you will consider my application.
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