Personal statement of Dr. Vitasta Raina for medical school
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Personal statement (Medicine 2015) UCAS


My decision to study medicine was affirmed to me through recent personal experience. Following a myocardial infarction, my grandfather was hospitalised and underwent a coronary angioplasty. Accompanying my grandfather to the hospital enabled me to observe how closely the team worked together when responding to an emergency. Separately, I chose to accompany my grandmother to care for my uncle in California who had been diagnosed with terminal lung cancer; a chronic but, similarly, a life-threatening condition. Both of these experiences made me aware of the response of health-care professionals in different medical situations. It also highlighted the physical, emotional and mental effect of disease on the patients, their family, friends and the medical teams involved in patient care. 

My undergraduate Biomedical Science degree has given me an understanding of the science that underlies pathology and an insight into the differences in disease presentation and responses to treatment. Of particular interest was the module on molecular and cellular basis of disease because it showed the effect of a disease at a microscopic level, which manifests as physical and anatomical changes. I was chosen as part of a small group to undertake an optional six-week, superficial and deep hands-on anatomy cadaver dissection program. This was a valuable experience as it introduced me to the structures of the human body, the fine interdependence of the organs and the skills required by surgeons. Studying behavioural medicine and conducting a research project on the effectiveness of pain management treatments has made me appreciate the importance of data analysis, the limits of current therapies and also the role of society in defining illness and suffering. 

Since October 2013, I have been working part time with the NHS 111 service as a Health Advisor. My responsibilities include quick and safe triaging of patients, based on their symptoms in order to provide further assessments or referrals. I have gained an understanding of the NHS structure and the responsibilities and roles of individual health professionals. Having worked alongside doctors, nurses and paramedics, I have come to realise that medicine is a multidisciplinary field where teamwork is critical in providing safe clinical help to patients. The role involves decision-making on a tight time scale, requiring me to manage my time efficiently. Some examples of working under pressure include: calling ambulances, calming distressed individuals and empathising with terminally ill patients, as they realise that no further treatment is available for their condition. I have dealt with confidentiality issues and problems of a sensitive nature such as death and abuse. I have also learnt to cope with emotionally charged situations, where medical professionals must prioritise the patient's safety and health against their own personal and emotional needs. Having lived and studied in three different countries, I have a good understanding and acceptance of a variety of different cultures and attitudes, and this helps me in my current role. 

I play badminton and volleyball and am part of the committee for the latter. I have held various roles in theatre and drama at my university, in addition to my qualifications in performing arts and dance. Theatre activities have helped me develop discipline and confidence in public speaking as my learning has been self directed and carried out in a structured manner. I find medicine stimulating, challenging and dynamic and am fortunate to have a basic first-hand introduction to this field. My interpersonal skills along with my academic abilities and experiences hold me in good stead for becoming a doctor.



Vitasta Raina


Offers (met) for Graduate entry medicine from St George’s, University of London and University of Nottingham.

Studying Medicine at St. George’s since September 2015- April 2019


Qualified: April 2019


Originally published 16 January 2020 , updated 16/06/2020

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