Examples of Personal Statements


Sample Essay #8

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What satisfactions do you expect to receive from your activities as a physician?

My experiences with patients and physicians while working in clinics has given me a glimpse into the many rewards a career in medicine can offer. As a clinical research student at the Ontario Cancer Institute and the Toronto General Hospital, I had the opportunity to interact with a variety of patients. My primary responsibility was to recruit patients for the research study and to discuss their illness and treatment. This experience allowed me to gain a confidence in the clinic, to develop my interpersonal skills and, more importantly, to experience the satisfaction of helping another person heal--mentally.

While I had many meaningful encounters, one in particular stands out. On a hot, sticky June morning, I noticed a patient named Scott roaming the corridors. The expression on his face touched me, and I followed him to a nearby television set. The World Cup blazed on the screen, and everyone in the clinic except Scott was fascinated by the Brazil game. Scott quietly sipped orange juice while tugging on his baseball cap, trying to conceal his balding head, the unmistakable sign of chemotherapy. Sensing that Scott desperately needed to be cheered up, I initiated a conversation with a soccer joke. Within minutes, the two of us were laughing. I felt intensely satisfied, although I had done nothing for the boy's physical condition. I had, however, managed to lighten his sadness, if only for a moment. Seeing Scott's smiling face, I realized that my future must revolve around instances like this one, and that true fulfillment comes from helping another person heal. My summer at the Ontario Cancer Institute taught me that patience, compassion, and sensitivity are just as crucial as scientific skills for medicine.

The ongoing intellectual challenges a career in medicine offers would also be satisfying to me. As a student of biochemistry, I am fascinated by the advances and applications of the science. Medicine is a constantly evolving profession which would also meet my passion for learning and problem solving. As a medical student, I hope to further cultivate the critical thinking skills and self-directed learning I developed as an undergraduate. Utilizing these skills would allow me to help improve the health of others by acting as a caregiver for the sick and as a health advocate helping to prevent illness in the community. I believe this would be the ideal balance between intellectual and personal challenge. Serving as a leader in the community also offers tremendous rewards since it would allow me to help work in partnership to improve the health of the community. Having worked at a family practice for three years I have developed a strong interest in specializing in family medicine. I enjoy the idea of being able to service a community while helping improve the health of people of all ages. Such a specialty would also provide the opportunity to understand the various illnesses unique to a family and allow me to better serve them. I believe this would greatly contribute to the life-long personal and professional satisfaction I would derive from medicine.

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