Personal Statement Example - Radiology Residency
by Ben Frederick MD
on June 1, 2013
Saint Louis University medical student
Science and art. Ever since I built my first computer at the age of 14, these two things have been the driving forces in my life. Like many kids learning to use their first computer, I started off playing computer games, watching movies, and of course… exploring the vast reaching world of the Internet. As I soaked up all the knowledge available at my fingertips, my interests began to evolve. Before long, I had my parent’s house networked and automated with a “smart home” computer system that included voice activation of the lights, home theater, and telephone.
In high school I was surprised to find that technology, a field governed by hard science and mathematics, had opened up to me a new world of artistic possibilities. I started learning new programs, designing websites, and editing video. By my senior year of high school, I was running the student television network, wielding thousands of dollars worth of video cameras, computers, and production equipment.
In college I had my sights set on the fascinating, high-tech world of medicine. As I dove headfirst into the Mizzou biology program, my suddenly limited means had me looking for a more economical artistic outlet. My search eventually landed me square in the center of the digital darkroom. There, my knowledge of computers and programs came in handy. By graduation, I had parlayed my new found skills into magazine and textbook publications, art fair exhibitions, and a small wedding photography business.
With each new task came the challenge of understanding a new language: the rigid code of website design, the fluid storytelling and special effects manipulation of videography, and the artistic vision and precise control of photography.
Much of my adult life, I have enjoyed using the rigid tools of science and technology to create art that cannot be so easily defined. I’ve continued these interests throughout medical school, but I have gained a new perspective. The human body operates on the principals of hard science. We can understand the mechanism of the electron transport chain, see the synaptic cleft of a neuronal junction, and predict the cellular replication of an embryo... However, when you put it all together to create the human body, you get the ultimate work of art, a living canvas with infinite variations. To me, the practice of radiology is an amalgamation of high technology, extensive clinical knowledge, and keen perception that is used to interpret the most complex art form on Earth into hard science.