Medicine Personal Statement
Without modern medicine, I would be dead. At birth, my head was too big to emerge naturally; I owe my life (and possibly my mother's) to an obstetrician at Basingstoke Hospital who carried out a caesarean section after a 72-hour labour.
I have since returned to this hospital under more fortunate circumstances. I spent three weeks working with porters, hospital security, medical librarians, sterile-services operatives, as well as cardiac and orthopaedic surgeons. This cemented my desire to study medicine: I loved the hospital environment, and found the dedication and commitment of the staff inspiring.
I have spent a week working with a GP - this emphasised that a doctor is more than a scientist: empathy, compassion and mutual trust are at the heart of medicine.
I have been lucky enough to observe medicine abroad: in 2010 I witnessed a caesarean in Uganda - an insight into my own arrival into the world. I discovered how medicine can function, in this case successfully, with limited resources.
The trip required substantial fundraising; a friend and I cycled 320km to raise the required £2,000. Both in Uganda and at home, I have learned that teamwork is vital in healthcare: those who clean hospital floors can be important as the doctors who walk on them.
However, the highlight of my work experience came in Nepal. In 2010, my college awarded me the Scholarship for Medicine, given to one student each year. With this came £1,000 - and great expectations! I spent two weeks working in a polyclinic in Kathmandu, and have never learned so much so quickly.
The doctors explained everything, and it was a privilege to listen. I took patients' blood pressure, listened to their hearts, examined x-rays, and scrutinised blood test results (with guidance!) In Nepal, I contracted amoebic dysentery; eager not to waste an opportunity, I am basing my extended project on this disease! It was hugely rewarding to see how medicine was practised in another society, with its different culture, values, and problems.
I have also worked as a volunteer. I spent a year helping at a youth centre, in which I led activities, maintained order, and entertained the children for a few hours each week. I currently work in a cardiac rehabilitation centre - this involves considerable patient contact, which has helped me understand the reality of living with a chronic health condition.
To expand my knowledge of medicine, I have read Bad Science, by Ben Goldacre; this showed me how important genuine science is to medicine. He explains how statistics are used in clinical trials; this linked neatly to my statistics module in maths. I also enjoyed the biography of the biochemist Max Perutz; I learned about the reality of medical research, and how many of the ideas in my A-level textbooks were his work.
Several lead roles in school plays have helped develop my communication skills. Recently, I learned Tom Lehrer's Elements Song for a local show - a difficult but rewarding task! I have achieved Grade 8 (merit) in the clarinet, and I play the piano to a similar standard. I belong to my college orchestra, and sing in the choir.
Languages also fascinate me: on various exchanges, I have spent five weeks in Germany and one in Spain, which have enhanced my linguistic and learning skills. I represented my region and county in the Magistrate's Court, Bar Court, and Youth Parliament competitions - as a lawyer, jury member, and minister - and have represented the South of England in a literary quiz.
I am also a scout, and have gained my silver Duke of Edinburgh's award and the Platinum Scout Award.
Being a doctor cannot be easy. The hours are long, the work difficult, and the consequences of errors disastrous. Despite this, there is nothing I would rather do with my life - there is no other profession as satisfying, interesting, rewarding, or as engaging as medicine. I look forward to the challenges ahead.
Offers from: Oxford (Medicine - AAA) Sheffield (Medicine - AAA) Newcastle (Biomedical Sciences - AAB) Rejections from: Bristol Application withdrawn from: Leicester