Medicine Personal Statement
I have asked myself many times what it takes to be a great doctor, but like many questions there is never a straight answer.
Keeping an open mind with regards to my career has meant that I have been able to pinpoint the one field which has fascinated me unlike any other, medicine.
My first experience of healthcare was watching my father working in his veterinary surgery, not a human medical experience but at the age of 4 it first ignited my passion for the exciting world of biology and disease. Asking about animal ailments eventually prompted the same questions about human health.
However it was years until I felt confident that medicine was right for me. I had experienced disease through the diagnosis and sadly, eventual death of my aunt from cancer but I had little experience of how healthcare functioned. I therefore arranged to volunteer at a hospital, eventually shadowing a GP and a range of medical staff. Volunteering has provided one of the best insights into hospital care that I could have possibly asked for.
Alongside my duties I observed the caring yet professional attitude of the nurses and HCAs. The opportunity to offer my time never fails to lift my spirit and assisting in a mainly geriatric rehabilitation ward has exposed me to the highs and lows of healthcare but only strengthened my resolve to become a doctor.
At the surgery I experienced the integration of roles involved in healthcare, from receptionist to district nurse, but the highlight of the experience was sitting in on consultations carried out by both staff nurses and a doctor.
Seeing the GP ask concise and relevant questions emphasised the importance of competence and communication in medicine. In order to balance the sometimes stressful events of daily life I maintain all round health by going to the gym, cycling and reading for pleasure. I have taken part in mock trial competitions at national level and would love to pursue this at university.
I understand the role spirituality can play in maintaining psychological health. Travelling to Lourdes to help sick and elderly pilgrims allowed me to witness this first hand. The teamwork aspect was what convinced me to take part and I really enjoyed working with like-minded people on both the wards and in transporting wheelchair-bound pilgrims around the town.
In addition to these experiences my own college allowed me to help students in year 8 science lessons, setting up practicals and answering their queries.
More recently I have been employed to work as a lunchtime buddy at the local primary school looking after a boy with EB which has proved to be incredibly rewarding.
The people I have been lucky enough to work with and for, continue to reinforce what studying foreign languages has taught me: no two persons are alike.
I believe that my fascination for languages goes hand in hand with the social side of medicine and my fluency in Italian allowed me to accept my teacher's request to act as an examiner during a GCSE oral test which I initially found daunting but ultimately made me more confident in a formal position.
Studying the 'Darwin and evolution' OU short course has kept my interest in enquiry well furnished whilst providing a way in which to develop my self study skills.
I have thoroughly enjoyed exploring a completely different branch of biology alongside my college studies I feel that social experiences living in both Italy and England, and studying Spanish will make me more culturally aware and enable me to sympathise when confronted with patients of different backgrounds.
I continue to realise that my chosen career will undoubtedly be academically rigorous and psychologically stimulating but nonetheless will stretch me to my full potential.
A great doctor understands without being patronising, listens without prejudice and draws from every academic and social experience to deliver the best advice he can give. With my commitment, work ethic and ability I will one day achieve this.
This is pretty much the statement which I sent off to UCAS minus a bit of tweaking here and there. I felt a bit unimpressed with it towards the end but feel free to let me know what you think.