Medicine Personal Statement
The challenge of spending my working life immersed in the fascinating, ever-evolving world of the medical sciences, and the opportunity to use this knowledge to benefit others, has drawn me to seek a career in medicine. I have always had an open and enquiring mind, and regularly read about topics which interest me beyond my A-level syllabi.
I find topics such as immunology fascinating as they allow me to utilise skills and knowledge from all of my subjects and have a wide scope for future development. To expand my scientific knowledge further I founded a student group to discuss recent developments in biomedicine and medical ethics, and am completing the Extended Project Qualification; evaluating the impact of recent public health awareness campaigns.
These activities have allowed me to develop independent research and critical thinking skills and an ability to analyse a wide range of evidence-based data. They have also given me a greater appreciation for the academic and ethical challenges of a medical career.
However, it is not simply the academic challenge which draws me to medicine, but also the unique set of challenges presented by patients through clinical practice. On work experience placements I organised in two local GP surgeries I was fascinated to learn how physical ailments can be complicated by social problems and mental health issues, and enjoyed watching doctors employ a wide skillset in order to find solutions to a broad range of conditions.
One such case was that of a pregnant woman suffering from severe anxiety; struggling to cope with the uncertainty of pregnancy. I was interested to learn how the doctor was able to improve her situation using a combination of different treatments, including Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors, therapy and specialist ante-natal care. This case highlighted the importance of treating patients individually; tailoring treatment to each patient’s needs and weighing up the risks and potential benefits before making decisions.
The consultations I witnessed also stressed to me the value of trust in a patient-doctor relationship and the importance of effective communication, particularly in difficult circumstances. My ability to communicate under pressure has been significantly enhanced since I qualified as a member of the British Red Cross Event First Aid team. Through this role I have developed an ability to communicate with people of all ages and backgrounds in challenging situations in order to provide appropriate and effective treatment. I find it is vital to empathise with patients; to be patient and to try to understand their situation.
On a recent placement in my local hospital I was able to observe the roles of various healthcare professionals and how they work together to manage patient care. I witnessed a consultation which a member of a multi-disciplinary team failed to attend. This clearly frustrated the patient and delayed treatment, demonstrating the importance of teamwork in medicine.
The opportunity to work in and at times lead such an integrated team is a major draw of a medical career, as it is within a team environment that I perform best. On a recent expedition in France I worked as part of a team to overcome the challenges of living independently in a foreign country, such as the language barrier and a limited budget.
I have also shown on many occasions my ability to lead a team, and enjoy the challenge of doing so. In recent years I have led several successful scout and sailing teams in competitions, and have recently qualified as an RYA dinghy instructor.
These achievements clearly illustrate my commitment to others and my ability to solve complex problems and make important decisions under pressure. Through these activities and others I have now fulfilled all of the requirements for the Queen Scout Award, demonstrating a high level of commitment and motivation; qualities required to succeed in the competitive world of medicine.