2006-01-04 - 8:06 p.m.
Hey there, everyone
Sorry this thing hasn't seen my mind in a while.
At any rate, I've just applied to medical school (Whee!!!).
I've applied to schools in CA, CO, FL, and AZ.
Wish me luck!
Here follows my personal statement that I submitted the the regular M.D. schools.
Though a lot of people had helped me out on this, I have to give special kudos to Bobbi for her help with this one (Thanks, Bobbi!)
For your perusal:
I lost my first patient when I was twenty-one. She died of sudden cardiac arrest. A genetic defect not screened for by the Army entrance medical exam brought about her arrest. While I had seen death before that, I had never experienced someone dying under my care. She was twenty-two. Throughout my life, I have found myself in situations where the ability to render medical assistance would make a substantial difference.
I inadvertently broke my two-year-old sister's hand when I was seven. At the time, though my desire to avoid punishment was considerable, something greater compelled me to help. Swallowing my fear, I got our mother from the next room.
True, I did what anyone in that situation might do, but the compulsion to assist those in need has never left. It has only grown stronger over the years. I have made career decisions based on the desire to better understand why people need medical intervention and how to provide such care. I seek to continue my journey along that path.
In my short career, I have seen the well feign illness and the ill feign wellness. I have witnessed the wealthy and powerful succumb to seemingly minor ailments and the poor and indigent survive beyond all expectations. As a medic and Emergency Medical Technician, I have seen the horrific and the humorous occur. I have seen death thwarted simply and life wasted with extraordinary complexity.
I have seen enough, done enough, and learned enough to know one fact for certain: I have much more to learn, accomplish, and witness. I hunger to understand far more and to do far better. I know that I have much more to offer as a healer and as a person, than I am able to do now. I look forward to the journey of aiding in the healing process.
I began studying anthropology with the desire to better understand and appreciate the people that share the world with me. I have had the privilege to apply what I have learned in the classroom to the work environment. I realize that care and health do not begin and end at the Emergency Room door, and that the patients I interact with in the hospital are far removed from their normal context. Therefore, what I do in the hospital and community address only a small fraction of health care needs.
I first helped save someone's life when I was twenty-four. A physician in the Emergency Department had demonstrated a manual vagal maneuver to terminate a paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia (PSVT) in one of our patients with this condition. He carefully explained the technique to me as he performed it, and the patient's heart rate slowed to normal. A month later, another patient came in with PSVT. While the staff prepared the defibrillator and to administer the medication Adenosine, I asked the physician caring for the patient if I could try the vagal maneuver. He said 'Yes' and I duplicated the technique. The patient's heart rate slowed to normal. I was euphoric!
That event helped illustrate the balancing point in the career I have chosen. I know I will not save every patient's life. I am nonetheless passionately committed to learning as much as I can, so that I am better equipped to act on the drive to render aid that I have always possessed
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