Personal Statement 8
Standing amidst Hepatologists, Anaesthetists, and Surgeons, all working together to nurse my mother back to health, it became apparent that these medical professionals had the best job in the world, remaining resilient and showing great dedication.
My already developing interest in anatomy increased during my home-schooling. As an independent learner, I spent a great deal of time extensively studying Human Biology. After attending a prosection class and holding the human heart, my fascination was taken further and I realised that my interest had morphed into a passion. From this point on, I worked hard to understand the intricacies behind life as a doctor. By winning an essay competition, I secured a place at the annual neuroscience conference at KCL. Here I studied complicated cases of brain trauma and understood the importance of seeing the patient as a whole, diagnosing correctly, and staying up to date with scientific research. Over the summer, I assisted a biomedical scientist with their study on obesity and cancer, by taking anthropometric measurements. Although my respect for researchers increased greatly, this steered me towards a more clinical career, involving direct contact with patients. The nerves of my placement at St Helier hospital quickly changed to pure excitement, as I observed the nurse perform a dialysis. Thereafter, I spent my time offering help to patients and befriending them. Here, I understood the struggle that doctors endure when losing a patient but what struck me was their drive to continue building trusting relationships. My communication skills improved immensely when I established a rapport with a particularly challenging patient who was awaiting a partial nephrectomy. Despite her withdrawn and unwilling state, I held her hand, reducing her anxiety to the point that she voiced her concerns and felt more positive about her surgery.
Upon shadowing a senior GP at Wordsworth health centre, I learnt the dynamic nature of his job as we found ourselves moving between consultations at the surgery and home visits. Moreover, I learnt the importance of patient-doctor confidentiality and gained knowledge on the current state of the NHS, with regards to medical records and the anxieties faced by patients. This experience coupled with my time at Barker’s chemist, hearing patient frustrations first-hand, led me to work with the South West London Health and Care panel. Here I acted as an NHS ambassador and invited individuals to participate in the progression of the NHS. My confidence was enhanced when I began volunteering at Ryelands, a dementia care home. Despite being disheartened by the struggle that the residents went through to even remember whether they had eaten that day, I returned every week for a year, with a new found determination to remind them of positive events from their past and to witness their happiness. Here I met a gentleman whom despite having dementia, remembered me every week and would look forward to my visits.
During my time studying Arabic, I taught a child with autism, building a close relationship with him and an understanding of his needs, I also felt that I had grown as a person. Further, I went on to train as an ABA therapist, working 1 on 1 with children to meet their daily behavioural targets. I realised that there are misconceptions surrounding people with autism and decided to raise awareness by speaking at youth events in Sutton. Having read Max Pemberton’s reflection of care on the streets, I also used the events as a platform to reduce stigma regarding homelessness, mental health and LGBTQ communities. Finally, I organised my own event for the homeless, during which I used my hobby of baking to cater, and raised funds by selling dresses that I had designed.
Working with people from diverse backgrounds, I have developed the same resilience and dedication that I witnessed in the treatment of my mother and know these will inform positive contributions as a student and doctor.
Offers: Plymouth, Queen's Mary & UEA