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Medicine Personal Statement 21

Sample Medicine Personal Statement

The words of the Renaissance physician Paracelsus illustrate well what I find so special and appealing about medicine: “Medicine is not only a science; it is also an art. It deals with the very processes of life, which must be understood before they may be guided”. Medicine calls for logical and creative problem-solving based on scientific knowledge. Pure sciences are exciting, but it is their daily application in the practical context of helping people that attracts me to medicine. I want a career that combines the excitement of scientific investigation with human contact.

Through my extensive work experiences, I have gained a good insight into the world of Medicine. Observing a plastic surgeon was revelatory. It was clear that the aim was not purely to repair damage but to strive to improve the quality of life. I remember in particular one patient, where the actual removal of a melanoma under her nose was relatively simple but could have resulted in distorting the lip. So instead, the surgeon made a second incision to form a Y shape, allowing the wound to be closed without damage to the facial features. A few weeks later, at a ‘Taster weekend’ at UCL, I thoroughly enjoyed trying surgical techniques myself, such as suturing a sponge with a simple interrupted technique. Work experience in a burns unit helped me understand the physical and emotional suffering that severely burnt patients endure. I also witnessed how teamwork, clear thinking, knowledge and empathy can result in what many people would regard as miraculous. In Psychiatry, I found the detective-like nature of diagnosis appealing. It was enthralling to see how a structure of the underlying problems gradually emerged when the consultant asked skillful questions after listening attentively for clues. I have also learned to appreciate the fine-tuning involved in the treatment of chronic mental health problems.

Academically, my main interests lie in science and I enjoy both theory and practical lab work. I am proud that I have won an academic scholarship and that I have been elected chemistry prefect. When reading the BMJ I find the articles on neuroscience particularly interesting. I am intrigued by the possibilities of modern brain imaging technology, which makes it possible to link chemical and electrical processes in specific brain areas to the thoughts, behaviours and emotions that make us who we are.

I enjoy working with people and have developed my teamwork and communication skills through volunteering. In 2011, I took part in a charity project, which involved caring for children from disadvantaged homes during a week long holiday. Some of the situations that arose were challenging and required commitment and patience. The ability to resist panic and retain a common sense approach was something I would later observe in the doctors during my work experiences. For the past 3 years, I have helped organize a 2-weekly feast for the elderly who are often ill and lonely. Talking and listening to them is crucial and it is great to see a reclusive old lady brighten up and engage in animated conversation.

In my spare time, I enjoy outdoor activities like tennis and orienteering. At Scout Explorers I took a lead role in preparing hikes, organizing route plans and delegating smaller jobs. Completing Bronze and Silver in the D of E Awards Scheme and running a reading group for young children have further developed my leadership skills. I have a keen interest in Art and I enjoy drawing. Quiet drawing periods help me to relax and refocus after a busy day and this will be a good balance to the often hectic and stressful life of a doctor.

Coming from a family of doctors, I have a realistic idea of the challenges and rewards of studying medicine. Although it is hard work at times, I feel that using my skills and knowledge with honesty and integrity to help people will give me a deep satisfaction and a good, flourishing life. That is why I want to be a doctor.

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