PERSONAL STATEMENT 09
Only when things go wrong with the human body, do you begin to appreciate the intricate nature of it. Medicine allows us to delve into its nuances and explore the ways in which we can negotiate its beauty and complexity. However, not all problems can be fixed with a scalpel and medication; having volunteered at a dementia care home, I witnessed the importance of holistic treatment and the intrinsic link between physical and mental health. Experiencing how the degeneration of brain cells, in the case of Alzheimer's disease, can have such a drastic effect on someone's life emphasises how a patient is ultimately a person. I built a relationship with one resident in particular, just by giving her my attention - it was extremely fulfilling knowing the positive impact I was having. My work experience at St Thomas' Hospital taught me that a doctor's role is so much more than diagnosing and treating a patient. A doctor must gauge the level of scientific knowledge a patient has and teach them about their condition to a suitable degree. This links to the shared responsibility and communication between professionals and patients for the best outcomes. As an academic mentor, I developed the ability to explain a concept simplistically from different perspectives and using analogies - a technique doctor's regularly employ. The continually evolving nature of medicine was emphasised when I observed an angioplasty, a minimally invasive outpatient procedure, compared to a CABG. Having sparked an interest, I researched the prospective uses of magnetocardiography in the diagnosis of atrial fibrillation, through my attendance at the UCL science lectures. MCGs are more sensitive than ECGs and hence have the ability to detect AF despite an episode not occurring. They would allow patients to receive appropriate treatment and hence, I believe, have the potential to revolutionise the quality of life for patients, especially considering the high proportion of elderly patients that AF affects and the UK's ageing population.
My fluency in Serbian enabled me to undertake work experience in a Serbian public hospital. There are many similarities in the issues faced there and in the NHS, such as a shortage of healthcare professionals. Despite limited technology, a recurring theme that unites doctors is the patient orientated approach and dedication to provide the best possible care. This element of patient care is related to my customer service skills, developed through my job as a waiter. Working in one of the busiest branches allowed me to hone my ability to work under pressure without compromising my communication and efficiency skills. This is essential, especially for foundation doctors on ward rounds, to prevent mistakes. Being responsible for a section taught me accountability and integrity, which, alongside reflective practice, is vital for a doctor's development. I thoroughly enjoyed the process of researching and drafting my article, which was published in the national Medic Mentor Magazine, on anti-social personality disorder. My inquisition led me to investigate the culmination of environmental and genetic factors which result in a psychopath, primarily looking at the MAOA gene and how one can be more genetically inclined to be aggressive. Henry Marsh's "Do No Harm" exposed me to the 'grey area' doctors must negotiate in medical ethics and the meticulous judgement of whether benefit outweighs risk, while considering social circumstances. The demanding nature of this career is undisputed; however, medicine is a profession that encourages innovation and is academically and emotionally engaging which, I believe, far outweighs the hardships. My role as a Medic Mentor School Ambassador helped me make an informed decision on embarking on a lifetime in medicine.
The human body never ceases to amaze, and nor does the general public: medicine is the epitome of science interacting with the community and I would be honoured to be a part of it.
Offers: Nottingham & Southampton