Medicine Personal Statement
How can the human mind be responsible for everything we do, and shape everything we are? That is a question that I have been fascinated with for a long time, first from a psychological perspective and now from a neuroscientific perspective. To explore my interest I began reading around the subject in newspaper articles, magazines such as Scientific American and books.
This opened my eyes to other fascinating biomedical advances, such as probiotics. I also became particularly interested in the differing theories surrounding the neuroscientific approach to consciousness, and am currently reading Susan Greenfield's The Private Life of the Brain, where she presents her theory that patterns of neuronal connectivity determine our overall state of consciousness.
At the same time I began volunteering at the care centre for the elderly, baking and socializing with the seniors every Sunday.
I really enjoyed the caring role I took on, be it bringing them water or helping them take a seat. It also developed my social skills, and I became more open. I volunteered there for more than a year, and decided that I wanted to continue with this caring role professionally.
With my interest in biomedical sciences and care, medicine becomes the obvious career choice. To get a preview, I arranged for a brief observation in an OR in --- to observe a cardiac catheterization.
Besides giving me insight into the surgical process, I also got to listen to the doctors discuss the diagnosis of the fluoroscopy, and was impressed by their knowledge and attention to detail. I wanted to see more, and arranged for a week of formal work observation at a clinic in ---, where I shadowed a paediatrician and a migraine specialist.
There I got observe another aspect, both culturally and professionally, of being a doctor. I got to try my hand at feeling for swollen glands, listening for pneumonia, and saw how dynamic the medical profession is, constantly changing due to research advancements.
This experience made me very certain of pursuing the medical career. I then attended a Red Cross first aid course to gain some practical experience.
The IB program has prepared me academically to take on the challenging course of medicine. HL Chemistry and Biology have improved my grasp of the experimental process, especially the analysis of results. HL Mathematics has enhanced my problem solving skills, whilst TOK has advanced my critical thinking skills.
The independent lab work I did for my IB extended essay, for which I tested the tolerance of a probiotic against antibiotics, familiarized me with bacteria culture growth, including sterilization procedures.
In addition to school, I take extracurricular Mandarin classes, train Tae Kwon Do and volunteer as a tutor at the local library.
Time management and organisation are essential in keeping up with this busy schedule. Being a tutor hones my communicative and pedagogical skills, and I also discovered how fun children are to work with.
I am also a Student Safety Officer, a rewarding responsibility that allows me to work actively towards improving students' working environments. Last year I was part of the yearbook committee. With many people involved, it was important to cooperate and be a good listener.
As for hobbies, I enjoy reading and writing poetry; this year I had a poem published in the US teen literary magazine Cicada. I also took piano lessons for seven years which besides being aesthetic has also developed my finger dexterity.
As my entire education has been in English, beginning with primary school in --- and continuing with the MYP and IB program in ---, I've always aimed to attend university in the UK.
After graduating, I hope to first join MSF before specializing in neurology and doing research, but of course anything is possible.
I really hope that my academic and personal skills, in addition to my genuine interest in medicine, will turn my dreams about the future into reality.
This personal statement was written by jam for application in 2008.
Applying to: Cambridge, Glasgow, King's College, St. George for medicine and UCL for neuroscience
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