Postgraduate Medicine Personal Statement
Quite simply it is my curious nature which has always underpinned my desire to study medicine; the sheer complexity of both the human body and its healing processes have always fascinated me and, during my time in 6th form and subsequently while studying for my BSc. in Acupuncture, my thirst for "medical understanding" has only grown.
In my home life I have also a great deal of interaction with a PMLD child, my foster sister, who has, amongst many other things, a rare form of autism. At school I did my GCSE and my 6th Form work placements in a doctor's surgery and in my local Outpatients department respectively. I also attended an information day run by Cardiff University which gave me the opportunity to shadow doctors and talk to current medical students.
Since leaving school I have worked as a health care assistant for my local NHS trust, both full time during holiday periods and on a casual basis whilst studying, amassing a total well in excess of 2000 hours.
I have worked within a wide variety of primary care settings including general medicine and surgery, theatre, A&E and psychiatry. Each clinical discipline has brought new challenges, allowing me to form working relationships with a large number of healthcare professionals and their patients.
I have particularly enjoyed my time working in the department of "Psychiatry for the Older Person"; a rewarding environment that required me to call upon all my previous nursing expertise as well as skills as varied as playing dominos and curling patients hair in an attempt to create an atmosphere more pleasurable and conducive to recovery, particularly important to these vulnerable patients who can frequently feel quite isolated whilst in hospital.
While studying acupuncture at Lincoln I found the pathophysiology and differential diagnosis modules the most interesting; they provided me with not only theoretical knowledge but also the ability to apply my learning within a clinical context.
Throughout my time at university I accumulated over 450 hours of direct patient contact, working in a complementary medicine clinic. One of the most rewarding patients I worked with was receiving acupuncture to aid rehabilitation following a stroke.
I spent a great deal of time researching how a stroke can affect the body in both the immediate and long term, allowing me to devise an appropriate treatment regime. It was very useful in this instance to be able to draw upon my nursing background for information and I have really enjoyed the opportunities I have been given to improve my rapport with patients.
For my dissertation I wrote a research article on the use of a specific acupuncture point to treat nausea and vomiting during pregnancy and have been fortunate enough to have this published in the September 2009 journal of the Association of Traditional Chinese Medicine.
Between July and September this year, I went backpacking around Latin America, relying largely on my spoken Spanish. In the past I have travelled with friends, but this time I went alone as a personal challenge. Whilst overseas I spent a large proportion of my time volunteering in a children's care centre in Honduras, where my work varied from bathing and feeding the children to advising parents on hygiene and nutrition.
I also helped create a safe play environment, designing simple games and painting a mural to decorate the centre's walls. I am also a keen scuba diver and took the time to explore the Honduran coastline; a truly exhilarating experience. The trip was challenging both physically and mentally and I really had to have never ending self belief, discipline and motivation to complete my goals.
I have a strong work ethic, an enquiring mind and, after four years of working for the NHS, a realistic view of what it means to work as a doctor. I am highly motivated to study medicine and I am looking forward to the prospect of returning to university to achieve my long held goal of becoming a doctor.