Unquestionably, I gained an early taste for the field of medicine through the influence of my parents. While they never made an attempt to persuade my career endeavor, their experiences in the medical profession gave me an early exposure and interest in health care. While neither of my parents are doctors, their stories and knowledge from their medical experiences have always captivated my interest and left me wanting to know and understand more about the human body.
After a conversation one night with my father, who has a license in medical technology, about the health effects of smoking, I decided to do my junior high science project on the effects of smoking on hemoglobin’s binding capacity to oxygen. Even though I received first place for this project in the biochemistry category, and also was the only student who did a project in that category and yet didn’t even know what biochemistry was then, that honor did not have a direct effect on my desire to become a doctor.
Rather the impact of both my grandparent’s, whose blood samples I used for this experiment, decision to suddenly and successfully quit smoking after twenty plus years is what turned my career objectives toward the dream of becoming a doctor. I learned from this project that successful treatment takes more than just knowledge and technology, but a true sense of care through proper motivation. If my grandparents never knew how concerned I always was about their habit (and my desire to convince them to quit) all the statistics and data would never have made such an impact.
A few years after my junior high research project, the summer of my junior year in college, I had the opportunity to work in the same hospital lab where I conducted the research, with qualified guidance, for my junior high science project. This work experience played a significant role in shaping my idea of what is required to becoming a doctor. I learned that this opportunity does not only come by hard work but by the kind efforts of others along the way.
Well this job was provided by a program at my community hospital, Opelousas General, that allowed hospital board members to appoint one student of their choice to work in this hospital during the summer. Well, since my family knew people who knew most of these board members, along with my credentials and serious interest in medicine that I humbly expressed in a letter to each of these board members, I felt that my chances of obtaining this job were extremely favorable.
To my dismay however these factors mattered little, for I was not awarded the job that year. Dismally accepting the realism of the odds I was facing, I made another appeal the following year anyway. With little hope however, I was notified shortly before that following summer that a board member who no one anybody I knew knew or who I had even written a letter to overheard my plea and graciously appointed me that position. That summer working in the lab only helped to fasten my desire to become a doctor.
While I was taught a myriad about modern lab diagnostic techniques, was entrusted with an enormous amount of responsibility, I also had the opportunity to make rounds to different departments where I often enjoyed the opportunity to greet and often even visit with patients waiting in then outpatient room. Often a simple smile and a polite greeting would lead to an informal conversation, which always made the wait both of us more pleasant.
From my conversations with doctors, nurses and hospital personnel, I realize that caution must be governed when allowing affections to play a role in one’s medical career, but I’m convinced especially from my experiences as a patient that the medical profession could benefit from a little more care and compassion. I also know this fact to be true from my opportunities shadowing two well-respected doctors. These doctors exemplify genuine concern and compassion for everyone they come into contact with, in and out of the hospital.
It is my desire to bring the same positive influence they bring to their patients and staff to my profession as a doctor in the future. This important lesson in medical care is not one I can easily forget because it is one that my mother, who has over 15 years experience as a respiratory technician, never lets me forget. From her experience around doctors she always emphasizes that my training as a good doctor starts in the home by the way I treat my family, friends, elders and neighbors.
Thus, if my upbringing and reputation with my teachers and friends reflect in any way how I will perform as a doctor, I know with confidence that I can offer the care and sympathy that the medical profession desperately needs. The discipline, nurture and experience of my parents provided me the interest and appreciation for the field of medicine, but it was the kindness offered by teachers, doctors and others that provided opportunities for me to discover my call and confidence of becoming a doctor. So it is with humble confidence and eagerness that I apply to your medical school.