Personal Statement Example – Ophthalmology

Personal Statement Example – Ophthalmology

Ophthalmology Residency Saint Louis University medical student 824 words During spring break of 2006, many of my friends were headed to a beach in Florida, but I was headed to a different beach. I had organized an alternative spring break trip to Long Beach, Mississippi. The experience impacted my life in ways I never imagined, most notably by helping me choose a career path. The encounter with John was brief, but it left a deep impression on me of which I have reflected upon many times since.   The heat was oppressive as my group worked on drywall installation in the wind and flood damaged neighborhood. That evening as we made our way back to the gym that would be our home for the next week, we saw John sitting with his head in his hands. The FEMA markings in bright orange behind him revealed everyone in his home had survived. We inquired about his bloodied face and broken glasses and John explained that he had fallen off a ladder earlier that day. He was broken and could not handle any more in the aftermath of the hurricane. We took him back to the gym that night for a meal and a shower, and listened while he explained everything that had happened to him over the past few months. We also found John a new pair of glasses. They were not perfect, but they seemed to give John hope. With tears in his eyes, he told us how relieved and encouraged he felt as a result of our support. That moment made me realize what a difference vision makes...
Personal Statement Example – Obstetrics & Gynecology

Personal Statement Example – Obstetrics & Gynecology

OB/GYN Residency Saint Louis University medical student 492 words It was in high school when I was shadowing my father at his medical practice, that I witnessed my first delivery.  I still vividly remember it as the patient did not have an epidural and it was very different than what I had previously seen on television.  This delivery served a major purpose in introducing me to the world of obstetrics.  The incredible feeling I experienced as a witness to the birth of a human life has molded my aspirations in becoming an OB/GYN physician.   During medical school, I had the privilege of working with an OB/GYN physician at Saint Louis University for two years in an elective whose purpose was to allow medical students to follow patients longitudinally. One of the characteristics that is important to me in a specialty is continuity of care. I enjoy getting to know patients on a personal level and monitoring them throughout their pregnancies and lives. OB/GYN offers a unique privilege in following a patient from the beginning of her pregnancy to delivery. It is a gratifying and rewarding experience by helping to build families. OBY/GYN also provides the opportunity to continue to monitor the patient after delivery and provide preventative care.   Medical school has made me realize that one of the primary goals in medicine is preventative care. Preventative care is an important part of OB/GYN. In clinic, I was enthused about finding a lesion on Pap smear which directed care to possibly prevent cervical carcinoma. As I furthered my medical training, I found that I enjoyed the diagnosis, management,...
Personal Statement Example – Pediatric Residency

Personal Statement Example – Pediatric Residency

Pediatric Residency Saint Louis University medical student 535 words Pediatrics is all encompassing.  It is a field whose definition of quality care expands beyond office visits and parental counseling, to a career focused on patient advocacy.  Pediatrics is a field where learning and teaching are endless, so that each patient brings new experiences.   As far back as elementary school, when my aspirations changed from President of the United States of America to Veterinarian as quickly as every two weeks, I can remember my mother always reminding me that the goal of a career is finding something you love doing, so that getting paid becomes a perk.   Later in life, I found my favorite author, Maya Angelou, who has never ceased to inspire, and her words above remind me of my Mother’s life lesson.   I have always enjoyed working with children and spent the majority of my service and leadership activities working with youth of all ages.  Third year of medical school has been such a wonderful sampling of clinical experiences, and although I had an idea that I was interested in pursuing a career in pediatrics, it became very apparent on my first few weeks of the pediatric clerkship that it was a perfect match.  After full days of floor and clinic work, evening and night calls, I realized that day after day I wasn’t going home drained and tired, but full of new knowledge, stories if interactions with patients, and plenty of topics to research.  The time at the hospital passed by effortlessly and at each day’s end, a smile was left on my face...
Personal Statement Example – Anatomic and Clinical Pathology Residency

Personal Statement Example – Anatomic and Clinical Pathology Residency

Anatomic and Clinical Pathology Residency Saint Louis University medical student 635 words At the wise and all-knowing age of 20, after observing my first autopsy (a young ICU patient and long bone donor), I called my mother and proclaimed that I would never, ever, in ten thousand years, become a pathologist.  It was smelly, the doctor had used garden tools, off all things, to open the man’s ribcage (not to mention touching all of those organs!), and I simply knew that he lived his entire life in the hospital basement!  Today, as an applicant for residency in Anatomic and Clinical Pathology, I am unsure whether Murphy’s Law or simply the ignorance of youth is more responsible for my change of heart.  Either way, I couldn’t be happier with the results.   My interest in pathology was initially cultivated during histology lab and my introduction to the art of microscopy. Fascinated, the motto of my undergraduate biochemistry professors—‘function follows structure’—took form before my eyes as intricate tissues with their consistent pink-and-violet architecture. Physiology became more understandable based on histology of normal versus diseased tissue presented in organ-system lectures. For this reason, I often found myself studying in reverse, beginning with pathology of the organ or tissue and working my way to a more complete understanding of normal organ function. The organs I had once regarded with such contempt became invaluable pieces of evidence in clinical mysteries, the only means to a definite diagnosis. By the end of my second year, I needed to know more about the field I had sworn off. Ever an easy target for novelty, I decided...
Personal Statement Example – Psychiatry Residency

Personal Statement Example – Psychiatry Residency

Psychiatry Residency Saint Louis University medical student 1021 words Looking back several years, my path toward psychiatry has preceded my familiarity with the field by many years. I have always been fascinated by the nature of human experience and in the untangling and interpretation of human stories, and have been a particularly voracious reader of fiction since childhood. As I matured, this same fascination with stories led me to pursue a degree in literature (in addition to my degree in genetics). In retrospect, I realize that many of my favorite poems and novels explored, if only implicitly, psychiatric issues and concepts. For example, T.S. Eliot’s classic poem “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” perfectly depicts a man utterly paralyzed by depression. Similarly, when I revisit the novel now, the slovenly, delusional protagonist of John Kennedy Toole’s “A Confederacy of Dunces” behaves like a disorganized schizophrenic– the same disease the author himself eventually developed.   My interest in mental health and the humanities continued during my preclinical medical school years, but it was not until my third-year psychiatry rotation that I found a new route for exploring this passion. What struck me immediately was the new depth of interactions and relationships between provider and patient: during my time on service I sat and spoke with patients at greater length than ever before. Each patient had their own complex narrative, and whatever psychiatric diagnosis we might suggest for them was deeply tangled inside that story– for example, the challenge of recognizing underlying depression in a chronic heroin user, or bipolar illness in a personality-disordered victim of domestic abuse. I came...
Personal Statement Example – Emeregency Medicine Residency

Personal Statement Example – Emeregency Medicine Residency

Emergency Medicine Residency Saint Louis University medical student 585 words Everyone is standing and waiting.  It feels like an eternity.  Finally the horn sounds and the race begins. Everyone jumps into the water to start swimming. At first, it seems like complete chaos as hundreds of swimmers are in the water starting their journey.  Soon each person will find his own pace, and the group will move from the water onto land, to their bicycles, then on to the final run.   A triathlon is a unique race, since it encompasses three distinct skill sets: swimming, cycling, and running. In order to cross the finish line, you have to be able to do all three. I look at emergency medicine a lot like a triathlon. The emergency physician must be able to handle a variety of problems. In fact, this is what interests me most about being an emergency medicine physician – you are trained to take care of the patient no matter what the injury or condition.   Looking back at my clinical rotations, I realized the part I enjoyed the most was my time in the emergency department. I liked being one of the first responders to the patient, thinking on my feet, and collecting evidence in order to diagnose. The adrenaline rush of not knowing what was coming next was unlike any other experience in my clinical rotations.   I have seen the emergency department in a variety of settings: during my Emergency Medicine rotation and from a research perspective. I conducted research on sound levels in the department and their correlation with patient care.  I...