Personal Statement 6
The concept of acquiring ever-changing knowledge and ultimately applying that knowledge to treat people is why I am drawn to Medicine.
This ambition was reinforced as a member of the school PHAB team which runs a residential week for teenagers with disabilities. It was both emotionally demanding yet rewarding, as I was privileged to have the trust of my guest and her parents to take responsibility for the 24-hour care of their child. My guest had autism meaning she had great difficulty in forming relationships and often isolated herself. I always ensured that she was comfortable, talking to her to provide a distraction from her worries. During the week I watched her confidence grow both in herself and in me as a carer as she began to interact with others and enjoy participating in activities. The experience taught me the importance of integrating and involving people with disabilities and to look beyond their disability when caring for them. I believe that this approach must be adopted when working with patients who are made to feel marginalised in society due to their illness: an approach I aim to adopt when working in Medicine.
Being such an eye-opening experience, PHAB inspired me to volunteer at Revitalise, a respite centre for people with disabilities. This reinforced the significance of confidentiality and trust between guest and carer. One guest had formed an attachment to me and asked if he could tell me a secret. I assured him that I would respect his privacy, yet I maintained my duties as a carer by clearly communicating that if I believed his safety was at risk I would have to pass that information on. Maintaining honesty with patients to create an open and professional relationship is paramount for a doctor.
My fascination with the science of medicine was amplified by my work experience at Royal Free Hospital in the Neurology Department. I learnt about the structure of the brain and the twelve cranial nerves, and the unknown nerves XIII and XIV. I was struck by the frustrating elementary nature of neuroscience, able to diagnose but never treat diseases such as MS. Studying Medicine is an invaluable chance to contribute to a growing field and develop active treatments for such diseases. My interest in the development of medicine led me to base my EPQ on past and future procedures developed by biomedical engineers. Techniques such as PGD and CRISPR, even with their ethical controversies, have come far and are constantly evolving: a progression I am determined to be a part of.
Moreover, reading A. Kay’s This is Going to Hurt made me aware of the highs and lows of being a medic, specifically why doctors stay doctors while faced with overtime and shortages. I saw these challenges at Hillingdon A&E when the department became overstretched and doctors were under time pressure to diagnose and treat, while ensuring no errors were made. Nonetheless, the communication and dedication within the A&E team motivated me and I am confident that I have the skills and drive to overcome such challenges. I have learnt how to handle high stress situations during my DofE expedition, working as a unit under pressure whilst drawing on my leadership skills to ensure my team remained calm and motivated. These skills are essential for a career reliant on MDTs, working together for the patients’ benefit.
Additionally, having an outlet to relieve the stress that one will inevitably face as a medic is important. Playing the piano and violin, which I have done for over 10 years, not only provides such an outlet but shows my dedication and commitment. These are key qualities for a career of lifelong learning.
A career in medicine is unique and unparalleled by any other, but challenging. However, I believe I have the skills and passion to overcome these challenges and dedicate myself to the health of a community.
Waiting list: Edinburgh