Graduate Medicine Personal Statement
Although I have always wanted to be a doctor, at the age of 17 I felt too immature and lacked the confidence required to fully commit to a lifelong career. I therefore chose to study a subject that I believed would be invaluable in my future career, human anatomy. Dissecting human cadavers provided me with the opportunity to acquire scientific knowledge in a privileged fashion, which I found fascinating.
As part of my third year dissertation I identified a previously unknown population of cells uniquely showing characteristics of embryonic stem cells. Optimistically these cells may have major therapeutic benefits. The passion, gratification and in a sense obsession with this piece of work was unrivalled. It highlighted to me the constantly evolving and exciting nature of medicine. This coupled with the capacity to apply scientific knowledge and my natural curiosities to the treatment of others are the reasons I intend to pursue a career in medicine, and perhaps with a view to research.
At college I spent two years volunteering on the wards of ***** Royal Infirmary, and at a *** ***** Care Home. Although many patients/residents had debilitating conditions, and at times the role was emotionally distressing, I thoroughly enjoyed the chance to talk to them whilst serving refreshments, and left for University with a host of new friends. I felt inspired by the sensitivity and empathy shown by staff and volunteers alike, and the experience highlighted to me the importance of palliative care, which only increased my desire to contribute to this field.
Whilst at University I was fortunate enough to secure a part-time job in medical records at ***** Children’s Hospital. This two year role was invaluable in showing me the importance of teamwork within the NHS, as when files went missing it was always a collective solution on how to remedy it. To get a feel of a variety of areas within science I arranged some work experience within the haematology, biochemistry, microbiology, histology and medical photography departments.
This has been followed by securing a one year placement gaining experience in a paediatric pathology laboratory. This has helped me to understand other aspects of medicine, which I had not previously considered, as well as giving me the chance to utilise some of the scientific knowledge that I learnt from my degree. I have also been fortunate enough to observe paediatric specialists during clinics and surgical procedures. Personally I was impressed by the level of communication skills displayed by the clinicians, particularly their ability to convey seemingly complex pieces of information to children of all ages, a capacity to which I aspire.
Students and doctors have stressed to me the importance of maintaining a balance between recreation and work, a skill I put into practice as an undergraduate. Having a keen interest in physical fitness, the gym provided a welcome sanctuary when I needed to relax. I regularly play tennis, and at my club I organise charity round-robin tournaments, which although can be competitive, are very enjoyable.
At university I was an active member of the anatomy society. In my role I organised many social events and fundraising activities. It was successful in integrating the three years and adding a sense of camaraderie which everyone seemed to value. My gap year will hopefully be a maturing experience for me. I intend to maintain my volunteering placements, whilst earning enough money from my part-time job to go backpacking round Eastern Europe with friends.
My volunteering and work experiences have made me aware of the many challenges a medical career entails. In light of I feel I have demonstrated the necessary skills and characteristics needed to meet the necessary demands of entering the medical profession through my academic achievements and extracurricular activities. I hope to continue my academic and personal development at medical school and throughout my future career.
Used this statement for this years entry, applied for undergraduate medicine at Newcastle, Liverpool and Manchester, and postgraduate medicine at Warwick. I recieved interview offers from all of them.