Medicine Personal Statement

My goal of studying medicine is based partly around my love of science. I have always received excellent grades in science subjects, and spend an increasing amount of time reading about human anatomy and physiology when outside of the classroom, in publications such as Biological Sciences Review. Recently I have become interested in local health issues, in the form of reading the Joint Strategic Needs Assessment that was produced by Kirklees Council. Through reading about health problems in my community I have come to realise that an aptitude for sciences is about far more than earning impressive grades; it can be put to use in the real world to help people and communities. I have thoroughly enjoyed work shadowing placements in which I have participated in the medical field. In June 2011 I spent a month working on the general surgical ward of my local hospital. During the placement I shadowed a wide range of medical staff. I observed doctors and nurses perform routine procedures, such as taking blood samples from patients. Through the placement I was made aware of how teamwork is one of the most essential factors in successfully running a complex healthcare facility such as an NHS hospital.  I also witnessed doctors being required to give difficult news to patients. On one occasion, for example, I was present when an elderly patient was informed that she would have to enter a care home after being discharged from the hospital. Experiences such as this raised my awareness of the responsibility that is placed on the shoulders of doctors to make sure patients are given the greatest support possible during difficult times.

Another strand of my motivation to become a doctor is my experience of growing up with my disabled cousin, who suffers from hydrocephalus, epilepsy and partial blindness. As I have grown older I have played an increasingly important role in caring for her, and have gained a huge sense of personal fulfilment in being able to help her. At present I help my cousin with a range of daily tasks, such as feeding her, doing physical exercises with her, and accompanying her to medical appointments. I feel that the emotional challenge of helping to care for a family member has helped prepare me for some of the challenges that I would face as a doctor in terms of being in such close and regular contact with individuals who are suffering.

Over the past few years I have been lucky enough to be able to be involved with various activities that have allowed me to make a positive difference to society and also improve my personal skills. Through my local parachute club I was involved in a tandem skydive for charity. I have also helped to organize various fundraising events for the Association for International Cancer Research, including a carwash event and an initiative to raise money through manufacturing and selling Easter gift boxes. These events have increased my confidence in my ability to achieve goals that I set my mind to, as well as giving me the opportunity to work as part of a team with other like-minded individuals.

Most recently I completed a six-week training course to be able to volunteer at a chaplaincy in a local hospital. This has been a very eye-opening experience, making me evaluate every aspect of how I interact with individuals, and especially my weaknesses in this area. I feel that through the course I have become a much better listener and a much more empathetic person. I am looking forward to putting these skills into practice when I begin the voluntary work itself in the next few months.

Overall, these experiences have confirmed my belief that being a doctor requires hard work, life-long commitment, a thorough approach to every aspect of the work, as well as good communication skills and an ability to relate to people who are suffering. I feel fortunate that I hold these qualities, and look forward to future opportunities to improve on them further.