Personal Statement 10
I recently had the opportunity to write and direct my own play which detailed the downward spiral of a hospitalised teenager battling the sudden onset of Guillain-Barre Syndrome, mental health issues and a less than favourable family situation. A thoroughly fascinating experience, it allowed me to place myself in the shoes of others and to view things from different perspectives. I was particularly intrigued by the relationship between physical and mental health and how they impact on one another. For me, medicine is not purely the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of disease but a humbling discipline dedicated to the maintenance and promotion of every individual's wellbeing.
Shadowing an Orthopaedic doctor, I was impressed by his ability to cope with the variety of cases seen on a daily basis. A highlight was a consultation regarding an electric shock injury where a defensive patient refused to give their history. It was inspiring to see how the doctor remained at ease and actively engaged with the patient, using a mixture of gentle humour, empathy and warmth to coax them to share. Through chatting with a variety of pupils from different backgrounds as a Peer Supporter and as the founder of my school's LGBT+ group, I believe I am further developing and honing these skills.
In contrast, a placement at a dermatologist's clinic allowed me to appreciate the occasional monotony and paperwork the job entails. I was nonetheless inspired by the dermatologist's consistent and genuine care for every patient. I realised the significance of listening to each patient's history cannot be undermined. Although the illness itself might be similar, there are always other factors to consider when treating a patient, something which was emphasised during a consultation with a man who had a sudden relapse with his skin condition due to increased stress from being a carer of an ill relative.
For the past year, I have also been volunteering with a school for pupils with special needs on a weekly basis. Challenging and distressing at times, this has remained a profoundly fulfilling experience. I particularly enjoyed working with one child who was initially withdrawn and refused to talk. I soon discovered that they were an excellent artist and communicated best through drawing. From this, I was able to enjoy their individual brand of humour through artwork, opening up an amazingly powerful channel of communication.
During an observation of a cadaver dissection, I was shocked to discover that one of the cadavers was a woman in her twenties and remembered a conversation with a doctor about working during the HIV epidemic where they frequently saw young people die. I realised how fundamental yet controversial death could be in medicine, especially the prolongation of life such as the case of Alfie Evans. My interest in medical ethics led me to write a prizewinning heretical essay, debating the 2020 opt-out organ donation policy.
Outside of school, I enjoy writing a variety of articles and narratives for the school magazines. Translating experiences and emotions into the written word allowed me to appreciate the skill required for doctors to communicate with people at different levels of understanding. Doing my DofE Gold expedition in unfamiliar and stressful conditions meant that trust in our teamwork was essential, as was remaining calm and rational in the face of adversity. Through my role as House Captain, I have been developing my leadership skills and as a Charity Representative, I collaborate with other pupils and staff to organise and oversee various fundraising events.
I know that Medicine can be stressful, but it is a career unique in itself. No other profession offers this delicate convergence of science and humanities and though challenging, it is ultimately one which rewards. There is nothing else I would rather do, and I believe I have the determination, empathy and scientific curiosity to succeed in a career in Medicine.
Offers: Nottingham & Leicester