Personal Statement 12
Medicine is more than just understanding the intricate structures of the human body, but perfectly blending this knowledge with humanity to make a difference to an individual’s life. Medical professionals comfort and support patients on the journey from potentially the most stressful time of their life, providing not only physical treatment but also helping them psychologically and socially.
Clinical experience has taught me many skills on the nature of being a doctor. A doctor's job is not only diagnosing and prescribing medication or performing surgeries but also being able to effectively care for patients showing great amounts of empathy and compassion. This became clear to me during my weeklong shadow placements at St Georges Hospital and Royal London Hospital, especially in the recovery room. Moreover, these opportunities exemplified the importance of holistic medicine, treating patients physically, mentally and socially, as well as the transparency doctors have towards their patients to build a strong doctor-patient relationship. Attending multidisciplinary team meetings, I observed the need for effective and efficient communication between healthcare professionals from various specialities discussing the management of patients to deliver successful patient care.
Alongside clinical researchers at Evidence Based ENT, I was exposed to the medical research. Here I learnt the difference between quantitative and qualitative research and the effectiveness of Patient and Public Involvement in bettering health care. I was also able to build upon my analytical skills, by evaluating Interview scripts and picking out most important pieces of information. Furthermore, I attended and made field notes on focus groups that will be used to introduce a database for surgically implanted hearing aids.
Volunteering at a Missionaries of Charity soup kitchen was a very humbling experience. I was exposed to the psychological aspects of poor health, namely depression, and also important societal problems. The Whitehall I and II studies have shown there to be a strong link between social status and the quality of health, with those of a lower social status being more susceptible to poorer health.
As a gap year student, I have arranged to work as a healthcare assistant For the National Health Service. I hope this first-hand experience will allow me to gain skills in team work, patient interaction and work ethics as a Healthcare provider, which will prove to be vital in the long-run. Additionally, I plan to continue providing tuition to GCSE students in Maths and Science.
Attending a medical summer school and talking with medical experts highlighted some of the challenges that would be experienced in medicine including: medical ethics and the work-life balance with family and social life. Additionally, I have partaken on several Clinical Skills days displaying some of the basic skills required as a medical practitioner including: manual blood pressure measurements, use of peak flow in diagnosing asthma and simple suturing. Ethical scenarios were a key area also discussed, which made me realise the importance of making decisions as a team in complex cases.
Through public speaking I have developed interpersonal skills and learnt to communicate information appropriately, demonstrated during the Lionheart Challenge. Additionally, through debating, I have acquired methods for critical thinking, attention for detail, and listening to other views, which are essential for multidisciplinary meetings and medical practise. Sports, including Basketball, rugby and football, have not only helped me develop leadership attributes, but also to work effectively as part of a team. Other attainments include Bronze Award for the Chemistry Olympiad, Springboards Future Chef runner-up and British Red Cross First Aid Certificate.
I appreciate the path of a doctor will be challenging and demanding however, I am determined to commit myself to the complex nature of the vocation.