PERSONAL STATEMENT 11

Talking to a liver transplant recipient and engaging with his experiences made me realise the importance of a medical professional's role in improving both the physical and mental wellbeing of patients. It is this impact I can have on a person's life that has consolidated my passion and motivation to pursue a career in Medicine.

 

In order to develop a realistic understanding of Medicine, I observed clinical settings in both the UK, at the Royal Free's Liver Transplant and HPB unit, and a charity-run hospital in Tanzania. Despite the contrast in facilities, I found there was a universal commitment to patient care during challenging and stressful situations, such as the ethical dilemmas consultants faced when choosing which patients receive a liver transplant. The outcomes of a liver transplant listing meeting at the Royal Free, were influenced by the input of different specialists, which reinforced the idea of teamwork to ensure the patient received the fairest treatment. Attending a debrief meeting following the death of an organ transplant patient, made me reconsider the significance of a doctor's duty in supporting the patient and wider family. The ways in which the team strove for clinical excellence, through self-reflection and team-reflection, is something I aspire to as it ensures that each patient is supported in the best way possible. Furthermore, in my week at a GP surgery, I learnt about the importance of primary care in helping patients to manage their health. A GP's ability to communicate clearly yet empathetically, is something I aspire to emulate. I also volunteered with Revitalise, a charity that provides respite holidays for vulnerable adults. Though caring for guests with varying physical and mental needs was challenging and physically demanding due to the long hours and having to cater for differing needs, it was also rewarding as it taught me the importance of compassion and patience. Through on-going voluntary work at a care-home I have recognised the value of developing and maintaining emotional connections with the residents. This voluntary work has reinforced how much I enjoy being a part of a person's life and seeing them progress over an extended period of time. The aggregation of observing doctors interacting with their patients and my own experiences of caring for vulnerable adults and the elderly, has consolidated my passion to pursue a career in Medicine. In my EPQ I investigated the ethics of human gene-editing which gave me an opportunity to research an area of science beyond A Level Biology. I initially looked at how pioneering medical procedures could have the potential to improve people's lives. However, studying 'Brave New World' for English Literature allowed me to draw parallels between the exploitation of this technique for cosmetic uses and Huxley's dystopian world. This led me to reflect that human gene editing was acceptable when used to treat genetic diseases, but the possibility of abusing this procedure reinforced a need for tight regulation.

 

Through my own experience in the medical field I appreciate the profession can be stressful and I have found that my own creative pursuits outside of work, such as music and ballet, provide an outlet for managing stress. My DofE Gold expedition helped me to become more physically and emotionally resilient and enabled me to work better within a team. Being a prefect and also having a role within the Navy CCF has further refined my leadership and communication skills. I also run a science club for the younger students, which allows me to share my passion for science and help aspiring scientists. My ongoing dedication to these activities has developed and refined key attributes which will prepare me to work well in a clinical environment.

Offers: Nottingham & UEA