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Philosophy Personal Statement

Sample Philosophy Personal Statement

An intensely motivated and highly enthusiastic learner, I have always possessed a keen instinct to investigate how nature works; at the age of four, I shaved my mother’s favourite cactus plant to see whether the spines would grow back. My active passion for the sciences has continued, with my base of knowledge expanding during medical training and then refining over recent years into a specific interest in human behaviour and mental processes. What convinces a patient to take the medicine that has been prescribed? Why is it so difficult to re-educate and change health-related behaviour? What lies behind addictions? Having studied neuroanatomy and neurophysiology, I am eager to investigate how the brain and neurotransmitters influence behaviour, thoughts and feelings. Undertaking the Open University course ‘Brain and Psychology’ gave me the opportunity to start exploring such issues in a proactive and independent way. Exercising my initiative by designing an experiment and carrying out a reflective pilot study, I approached various scientific publications with a critical eye for detail. Such extended research in addition to full-time work stretched my organisational skills and I had to be extremely disciplined, dedicated to efficiency. I came to realise, however, how much satisfaction engaging with psychological topics gives me and am more determined than ever to meet the challenges involved in your course.

Currently working in geriatrics with dementia sufferers, my interest in neuroscience has been considerably strengthened and I believe my increasing knowledge in this field has helped in my application of treatments. Rehabilitation in the early stages can yield impressive results and this reflects, in my view, the unique capacities of the brain’s neuroplasticity. Delving deep into the topic of consciousness, I am very intrigued by the relationship between ‘brain’ and ‘mind’. I have long been fascinated by the fact that pain feels different across individual experience and always search for a neurobiological explanation for this phenomenon. However, I began considering the issue philosophically thanks to a course at Oxford University’s Summer School for Adults entitled ‘Consciousness: A Mind-Blowing Problem’. It was so enjoyable and illuminating that I decided to embrace the subject of philosophy wholeheartedly and take on a level 2 course with the O.U. Picking up an utterly new topic of study, over fifteen years after finishing school, has called on my natural ability for innovation. Developing strategies to tackle philosophical texts, I have vastly improved my critical thinking. Confronted daily in my work by a spectrum of ethical questions as complex as free will in decision-making, I follow the expression ‘non scholae, sed vitae discimus’ and know that studying philosophy will promote a sophisticated analytical approach to all aspects of life.

During my one-year G.P. training in psychosomatic medicine, I considered the effect of psychological and behavioural factors on physiological processes and perceived wellbeing. I was also introduced to aspects of clinical psychology. Having passed my exam in General and Internal Medicine at the German Medical Chamber last year, my success in achieving many ambitious goals thus far has given me the confidence to embark upon this exciting new path. Doctoring is a field that demands a thorough, conscientious approach to tasks and consistent excellence in outcome. Advanced communication and interpersonal skills are required in order to work with patients as part of a cooperative, multidisciplinary team. This high-responsibility job has enabled me to grow as a person; however, I have never felt genuinely satisfied by the role and over the years have realised that fulfillment and success will only come through work that fills me with enthusiasm to wake up every morning. Studying for a joint degree in psychology and philosophy will allow me to live this dream and reach my true potential.

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