My personal statement, which led to interviews at Oxford, Cardiff and St George's. Feel free to take inspiration!
Through many opportunities I have had to interact with health care professionals I am inspired by the lengths they willingly go for their patients. Equally, my interest in diseases, their epidemiology and cause attracts me to the opportunity Medicine provides to be a clinician and a scientist.
Attending the UNIQ Oncology summer school has piqued my curiosity on Cancer. Reading Hanahan and Weinberg’s seminal paper and taking a University of Bath ‘Inside Cancer’ course have given me a glimpse of potential therapeutic targets. I am interested by the mechanism of action of monoclonal antibodies such as Herceptin which target HER2 and provide a better outlook for patients, I am also excited by emerging developments such as the ability to routinely determine DNA sequence of patients as part of the diagnosis to personalise therapy. Listening to podcasts by Yale Cancer Centre; I have acknowledged how dialogue between doctors and scientists is key to fostering progress. Being a doctor gives one a frontline perspective of disease and lends itself to steering research and developing treatments; and I eagerly anticipate this aspect.
I shadowed an Obstetrician at X Hospital. There were many elective caesareans posing ethical issues to doctors as they battled with the limit to which autonomy is approved. It made me reflect on Michael Marmot’s lecture, which concluded that ‘Inequalities in health care result from social inequalities’; this was evident in Bangladesh due to poverty and what struck me was how marketisation of healthcare has resulted in inconsistencies in quality of care, making me appreciate the uniformity of care the NHS provides. Whilst on home visits with Psychiatrists as part of my local CMHT, the role of doctors to maintain records with collateral history to allow members of a MDT to do their role was evident. The experience highlighted the impact conditions such as anxiety can have on family life and I was taken aback by how involved the doctor was in trying to alleviate carer’s stress by arranging respite. Admittedly, I would not have considered this as part of the doctor’s role, but is vital as being a sole carer can be very challenging.
I volunteer on ward at KCH, feeding patients and talking to them over a cup of tea. I have been doing this for the past year because I enjoy the variety of people I encounter. Cleaning beds and wheeling patients to get some air has made me grasp that Medicine requires a degree of teamwork. Speaking to a patient with amputations has brought to light the impairments that diabetes can cause; despite this, they had an unfaltering love for life and I think it is rewarding treating such patients. When shadowing surgeons at KCH I observed an EVAR; I saw how crucial the doctor’s role is to comfort a distressed family and communicate in jargon free terms, the risks and ask them to consent for a potentially fatal procedure. I was impressed by the calm manner in which the doctor approached this whilst addressing concerns of the family despite being under time constraints, as opposed to regarding the patient as a disease entity. Thus, I believe my interpersonal skills would be nurtured in such situations.
As a Chemistry mentor at my school I help GCSE students, which is mutually beneficial as I am more confident and it is satisfying when they reach their goals. I also co-run the Diseases Society, aiming to inform students about diseases such as Malaria and recently we organised a bake sale for Water Aid. I am an avid swimmer and canoer, and also regularly take part in Muay Thai; gaining good time management skills, which I saw Cardiology FY1s at Whipps Cross use when attending to bleeps whilst managing jobs from ward rounds.
The truth is that a career as a doctor is not for the faint-hearted but for those who are tenacious and committed to lifelong discovery. Ergo, my experiences confirm my choice to read medicine; as it provides unmatched satisfaction in using advances to aid others.
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