Medical School Personal Statement Example 2
It is with great excitement that I submit my application for consideration for inclusion in the 2021 graduating class from Wellmann Medical College. My parents met at Wellman, so the institution, its values, and all that it means to be an alum of the college have been a part of my identity my entire life. Though I was never forced to choose medicine as my path, the fact that both of my parents are physicians (my father is a pediatric oncologist and my mother is an internist) meant that medicine was always the example I had laid before me growing up. I was always attracted to the sciences and the wondrous frontier that is the human body, and my parents were more than happy to nurture these early interests by enrolling me in increasingly advanced science courses, sending me to science camps and intensive pre-med programs throughout high school, and encouraging me to pursue research during my time in undergrad. By the time I graduated as Valedictorian of my high school class, I was confident that a career in medicine is what I wanted to pursue.
I also knew that in order to be the type of physician I wanted to be—the type of physician that I believed the world needs more of—I needed to be well rounded, compassionate, worldly even. So I decided to pursue a double major in Sociology and Biomedical Sciences. I also minored in Business Management. This unique combination afforded me many opportunities and framed the lens through which I approached my research on Trypanosomiasis, specifically its effects on families and communities impacted by the disease. I was able to lead a trip with my pre-med AMSA group to a village in Cote d’Ivoire to study the sociological implications of the illness. I focused specifically on the economic ramifications of widespread illness and dove deep into longitudinal research on how the economic advancement of whole countries has been stymied due to healthcare issues (including outbreaks of disease that could not be contained, poor prenatal and gynecologic care, and low life expectancy due to poor health). During this trip, we also had the privilege of serving in a clinic. I learned more on this trip than I ever had in any classroom, camp, or lab. I understood on a deeper level the centrality of good healthcare and what it means for entire economies, let alone families and communities.
I understand now that practicing medicine is bigger than simply diagnosing illnesses and taking care of patients. Medicine is also about business and how local and global economies are adversely impacted due to an unhealthy workforce or a complete lack of a workforce across industries due to a lack of basic healthcare infrastructure. Medicine is also about the fundamental right to a quality life. This is a major topic in medicine and in medicine in pop culture (thanks to T.V. shows like Chicago Med or TLC). The difference between survival—being alive (how to define “alive” is another hot topic)—and living, which entails thriving and enjoying a certain quality, and which should be the focus of medical practice, are major issues. Medicine is also about freedom. The freedom to work and provide a quality life for one’s family and the freedom to self-determine and achieve higher level goals are things that cannot be accomplished if one is sick and there is no hope for improvement. I also believe that medicine is about justice. Healthcare disparities are nothing new, and the intersections of healthcare and social justice are under the microscope now more than ever thanks to Obamacare and other reforms (and the call for reforms); a focus on insurance companies and their connection with doctors; Big Pharma and vaccination; increases in rates of certain illnesses, like autism; and the reemergence of things like pertussis and Ebola. Access to medicine and quality healthcare is a great equalizer.
Through my experiences, I began to ask myself questions about the distribution of resources across communities that I’d never before considered. I was able to confront my privilege as an upper-class white male who had never gone without the things that I wanted, things that would help determine my life trajectory, let alone the things I needed like food, water, and medicine. The trip firmly cemented my understanding of who I wanted to be. I am also firm on where I want to become that person. The field of medicine is evolving in response to changing demographics and technology. I believe that I will be the type of physician that will rise to the occasions that society is presenting.
In exploring my medical school options, I knew that I wanted to attend an institution that valued academic rigor and research and inquiry and provided opportunities to work with cutting edge technology in a supportive environment characterized by holistic student development (not just a focus on quantitative metrics of success). I have always prided myself on academic excellence. Graduating summa cum laude was a major accomplishment for me in addition to being awarded the Outstanding Student of the Year Award by the American Medical Student Association (AMSA). It is for these reasons, not just the legacy of my parents, that I want to attend Wellmann. Such an opportunity would provide me the foundation I need to pursue my long-term goal of working in third world countries at the intersections of healthcare, economics, and social problems, serving as a physician and continuing my research in the field of parasitology. I am confident that the unique experiences I’ve been privileged to enjoy will add to the educational milieu of the institution and that I have much to contribute to the institution in the form of my research and diverse perspectives. It would be the fulfillment of a lifelong dream to attend Wellmann and for all that the institution represents to remain an important aspect of my identity. I hope to continue the strong legacy of medical practice that my parents started and ultimately contribute to the advancement of the field, the evolution of society, and the improvement of the world.