Physiology and Medical Sciences Personal Statement
The human body is arguably the most complex life form that has ever existed. Studying how the body works helps us to comprehend the many processes that maintain health and find better treatment for diseases. We can make a difference to future populations by improving our knowledge of health and disease. Neurophysiology is particularly interesting; with the brain shaping our thoughts, hopes and imagination, it represents a challenging area in biology. Its intricate nature controls the processes that keep us alive. The abrupt loss of intellectual skills suffered recently by a close relative, due to the neurodegenerative illness Multi-Infarct Dementia, has encouraged me to learn about the physiological changes associated with such disorders.
My A levels complement my choice of degree. Biology enables me to appreciate the integration of the body, learning at both a molecular level and about the specific roles of organs. The substantial effect small differences in blood vessels' structure have upon the body is extraordinary, and I look forward to learning about the circulatory system. The treatment of disease relies on the application of knowledge in this area; learning about the causes and symptoms of respiratory diseases like tuberculosis and emphysema has heightened my desire to discover more. Engaging in a genetics workshop at the University of Exeter was an invaluable introduction to degree-level laboratory techniques including DNA extraction and amplification, confirming my aspiration to study a biological science. Similarly, I benefited from learning about diagnostic equipment including X-ray generators, CT and Ultrasound scanners at Dorset County Hospital.
In Psychology, theories and research studies allow me to study the brain and nervous system in relation to behaviour. Learning about the psychological impact on the body in areas such as the stress response and biological rhythms offers a different perspective on biological topics. The influence of the brain on both our psychological and physiological health has become evident, for example, the immune system can be manipulated by hormonal imbalances instigated by the brain. At the University of Bristol I talked to experimental Psychology researchers who demonstrated the use of electroencephalography and showed us their research into facial processing and children's understanding of eyes.
I have shown the ability to manipulate precise and intricate ideas and construct logical arguments in Mathematics. The challenges posed require flexibility and a confident approach. Persevering with a problem and using logic to obtain a correct answer is rewarding. I have learnt about many statistical techniques that are proving useful in my other subjects including Chi-squared and hypothesis testing. Participating in an Enrichment Programme at the University of Bristol involved learning about the application of Maths in weather-forecasting and whether true randomness exists.
Working at Clarks has given me an insight into the use of motivational techniques and training has taught me about taking responsibility, working independently and communicating effectively. I delivered Phonological Awareness Training at a junior school requiring commitment. My Bronze Duke of Edinburgh Award demanded a range of practical and fundamental life skills which were developed further by trampolining and horse riding. The tenacity and physical demands required in these disciplines gives me satisfaction while the unpredictable nature of the horse has shown me that there is always more to learn. Working towards Grade 8 clarinet and learning the saxophone has led me to play in the Dorset Youth Wind Orchestra, performing in memorable concerts at the Royal Albert Hall.
My visit to Dorset County Hospital and enthusiasm for the broad scientific interest of the human body drives my desire to make a difference to people's lives and pursue a career in a medical science-related profession.
This personal statement was written by Alice Compton for application in 2011.
Alice Compton's university choices
University of Bristol
University of Leeds
Green: offer made
Red: no offer made
Medical Sciences at University of Leeds
Alice Compton's Comments
I used this personal statement to apply for courses including Physiological Sciences, Medical Sciences, Human Biology and Medical Neuroscience. I received offers from all 5 universities I applied to, including my firm choice, Leeds and insurance, Bristol.
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