Hi. Anyone kind enough to help correct my medical personal statement. Thank you for your time and consideration.
“No! Not another disgusting lizard, Grandma!”
I heartily protested as my grandma tried to pin me down and pry my mouth open to force a live house lizard sandwiched between two slices of banana down my throat. I grasped tightly onto her scarlet sweater, both eyes coated in tears, howling and kicking to dodge the four-legged creature. The more I resisted, the worse my coughing and wheezing became. My childhood asthma was overpowering and my breathing shallow. At last, I surrendered. With my eyes closed and breath held, I quickly swallowed the creature the second it tickled the inside of my mouth. It was already my third lizard for the day. The familiar pleasant taste and aroma of banana failed to disguise the unpleasant gecko sandwiched between.
In the rural village of central Vietnam where I grew up, basic health care was a scarcity and devouring a house lizard was the remedy for my severe asthma. My grandparents were too poor and medicine was too expensive for us to seek any mainstream treatment for my illness. At the onset of my symptoms, I could not turn to my mother for solace. I was only two when my family escaped Vietnam by boat. My parents reluctantly left me behind because I was too sick to endure such a perilous journey. Even with the love and care of relatives and friends, it just was not the same without my family and a place to call home.
I was reunited with my family in California when I was nine. For the first time in my life, I have a family doctor who can attend to my medical needs. It is the absence of adequate medical attention in my early childhood that has promoted and fostered my sympathy for the sick and the poor. The comprehensive care that I have received in the United States has inspired me to devote my academic years to helping those who are less fortunate than me. Through my volunteer work, I am surprised and saddened to learn that health care inequity is not isolated to Vietnam alone but also exists even in the heart of America. In today’s society, there are orphans, homeless people, and immigrants who cannot access basic and adequate health services. These patients often sidestep hospitalization and expensive medication due to financial difficulties. For this reason, I aspire to become a physician in order to provide holistic medical care to patients from all social and economic backgrounds.
While in college, my inspiration has propelled me to become an assistant to physicians and nurses in the Emergency Department at San Francisco General Hospital. Here, I help provide clinical care to homeless and uninsured patients whose medical needs are coupled with psychosocial problems. While shadowing the physicians, I have noticed that genuine gestures plus a few words of comfort are always their initial responses to a patient’s diagnosis. They have helped me to appreciate that being a physician includes more than just diagnosing diseases and prescribing treatments; rather, it embraces the patient's whole well-being, both body and mind. Their thoughtful actions offer meaning to Sir William Osler’s words: “The good physician treats the disease; the great physician treats the patient who has the disease.” I too want to become a great physician, and I have strived to implement Osler’s teaching into my own practice at SFGH with some success. The hands-on interaction with patients has imparted greater meaning to my life and education as well as solidified my resolve to become a physician.
With this resolve in mind, I am determined to leave no stone unturned in the path to fulfilling my dream. At UC Berkeley, I have explored different opportunities and took on many challenges to best prepare myself for medical school, including pursuing a double major in Molecular Immunology and Integrative Biology. As a student of science, I am most interested in applying knowledge from the classroom into hands-on research to answer scientific questions. I soon found myself deeply engaged in cancer research in the Karpen Lab at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. With a pipette in hand, I conducted experiments to study how the cell recognizes and repairs DNA damage induced by radiation. At the 2008 Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship conference, I presented my research on the functions of various tumor suppressor proteins in the DNA repair pathway to professors, postdoctoral scholars, and undergrads. This research is promising because knowledge of how cells repair DNA damage can contribute to a better understanding of, and therefore, potential treatment for diseases associated with damage to our genome, including cancer. I look forward to participating in the medical community's efforts, both as a future medical student and physician, to address today’s and tomorrow’s health problems.
In choosing to become a physician, I have found a career that unites my interests in science and medicine with my passion to help others. An aspiring medical student, I hope to obtain the opportunity to provide health education and medical care to patients and the opportunity to cultivate compassion and establish friendship next to a patient’s bedside. To accomplish my lifelong aspiration of becoming a physician, medical school is the next important stone for me to assiduously and eagerly turn.
Re: Personal Statement
With this resolve in mind, I am determined to leave no stone unturned in the path to fulfilling my dream. At UC Berkeley, I have explored different opportunities and took on many challenges to best prepare myself for medical school, including pursuing a double major in Molecular Immunology and Integrative Biology. As a student of science, I am most interested in applying knowledge from the classroom into hands-on research to answer scientific questions.
Great personal statement! I love it! This is the type of doctor who becomes a healer, not just a physician. Two suggestions about this paragraph:
(1) The second sentence would be better if the verb tenses matched: i.e. ...I have explored different opportunities and have taken on .... OR ...I explored different oportunities and took on.... If you are no longer at UC Berkeley just use the past tense here
(2) change the preposition--not into but to "applying knowledge from the classroom to hands-on research..."
Best wishes on your medical career! :up:
Re: Personal Statement
Thank you very much for your feedback :).
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