I am writing a personal statement for medical school and I was wondering if you could read it (it’s two pages) and offer me feedback/areas for correction. Could you also offer me more information on how medical school personal statements should be written in a way that helps you stand out? The medical schools I am applying to have a great interest in serving underprivileged communities specifically, and I chose specific experiences from my life that fit their mission.
One of the reasons I want to become a doctor is because I truly enjoy learning
about the complexity of the human body and it is amazing to have the opportunity to
work alongside others at the forefront of such an incredibly dynamic field as healthcare.
Another primary factor in my decision to pursue medicine is that I love to help people.
As a result, I actively volunteer at hospitals in my spare time. I have found that it is the
little things you do that truly go a long way. The ability to offer a small, but helping hand
to patients who are going through a rough time is truly the most rewarding aspect of
volunteering in healthcare, as it leaves you with the most gratifying feeling at the end of
the day. I also love being able to interact with the patients and family members; small
gestures such as having a light conversation with them or offering them a warm blanket
make them feel so much more comfortable during such an uncomfortable time.
I know that there are thousands of ways to help people other than simply being a
doctor, but I feel that being a doctor allows me to reach a far larger audience and make
the biggest difference on people’s lives: I could treat, educate, and help people. I have
seen the unfortunate consequences of not having equitable, quality health care both
domestically and abroad. While many take having good health for granted, illnesses can
have such a profound financial, emotional, and physical effect on patients and their
This could not be truer in a truly tragic experience I observed unfold in front of
me. In September 2011, we received a phone call from Bangalore, India; it was from my
mother’s sister-in-law. She was crying, telling my mom news that her cousin passed
away from cardiac arrest the night before. He had been complaining of chest pain all day,
but getting a doctor to come to his village was extremely difficult and in the end, it was
this inability to receive proper medical care in time that resulted in his preventable death;
he was just 54 years old and left behind his wife and three young children. My mother’s
cousin lives in a very small, remote, and poor village in South India. Like most villagers
there, he had an incredibly basic knowledge of health and medicine, and hardly ever went
to the doctor. Making a trip to get a checkup would take him about 4-5 hours on a good
day just to make his way to the clinic. To him, that would mean that he would have to
practically leave an entire day’s worth of work in the farm, “just to check that I am still
okay”, as he would say.This situation has inspired to learn more about the existing disparities between
developed and underdeveloped regions in American and around the world. One group
that I have observed to be highly neglected in other parts of the world is the disabled
persons’ community. In many underdeveloped areas, due to the aforementioned lack of
medical knowledge and access to healthcare facilities, many preventable physical
disabilities arise. An example of such would be blindness, often caused by a Vitamin A
deficiency. Medically underserved areas are often seen to become victims to preventable
disabilities like blindness, primarily due to the lack of nourishment present in their diet.
Furthermore, as a result of the lack of examinations and routine check-ups during the
time of pregnancy, issues such as vitamin deficiency are not caught and consequently,
either the child is born with varying levels of visual impairments or the mother herself
experiences permanent loss of vision. During my time volunteering at the Braille Institute
of America, I have seen the immense resources available/offered to those with visual
impairments to not simply help them survive, but to allow them to thrive and live as
independent a life as those without such impairments. In India, as well as some other
underdeveloped countries, blind people are cast aside as burdens to society and left to rot.
Just because someone is disabled, doesn’t mean that they are unable and it is so sad to see
that their talents are never recognized and that they are seen as second-class citizens,
treated without the respect they truly deserve. In reality, the mission should be to
continually seek to educate as many people as possible so that these issues never arise as
a result of a lack of knowledge or a lack of access to healthcare.
These are not problems of just one person, one village, or even one country. They
are problems that persists throughout the world; even in America. When I watched the
news coverage of the aftermath of the Haiti earthquake, and more recently, the Nepal
earthquake, I saw how there were so few functioning medical facilities present. I find it
heartbreaking that people in impoverished regions across the world suffer as a result of
such insignificant issues as distance and a simple lack of medical professionals. Doctors
should be the ones reaching out to people rather than expecting people to reach doctors. I
greatly wish to promote this view of medical practice and the best way for me to do so
would be by being a doctor myself, and I feel like this is my true calling in life. In my
opinion, health is the root of everything, and I believe that being a doctor will most help
me in fulfilling my desire to help others thrive.
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