One of the reasons that I decided to keep a diary for MomMD was because of all the moments that I have experienced so far - good and bad. Many times I wished to share them with others, however, I felt at times they wouldn't understand or be interested. For example, no one wants to hear my thoughts and fears about the fast food epidemic in our society and my struggles to abstain (especially the french fries with extra salt), how I came to realize that being a physician has a mammoth of responsibilty and that my initial reaction to this thought was to run away as fast as possible, or that the one thing that makes me faint is watching a doctor numb a knee with a HUGE needle full of lidocaine. Yet I am still pursuing the dream, my obsession and I will be attending medical school in the Fall of 2004. I am so thankful that I made it through the first phase. I hope that my entries will be ones that you will enjoy and look forward to reading!!!
In September 2002 I began volunteering in a research lab at the medical school in my area. This opportunity arose unexpectedly and, in retrospect, I realized it was the sign that I had been waiting for. "Medicine" had chosen me! Prior to September I thought a career in medicine was an unreasonable option and that I was pursuing it for all the wrong reasons. Were my pursuits for a career in medicine selfish intentions that could possibly hurt my children? :guilty: As I volunteered and shadowed physicians I knew that if I didn't pursue medicine for life I would always have regret. I realize now that those thoughts were primarily motivated by guilt :guilty: - juggling a family and a busy career is definitely doable .
My Internship led into Honors Work and subsequently into an Honors Thesis (manuscript and seminar). I presented my research YESTERDAY and the preparations and the process was like being pregnant and giving birth all over again! :goodvibes:
Did I mention my post traumatic memory loss after the seminar? This is funny :cool: After the seminar I changed my clothes, put my suit in the car, walked back to the building for a final exam study session and as I was leaving I couldn't remember where I had left my clothes. I couldn't remember anything from after the seminar, which ended at 2:00 PM until 4:00 PM. :scratchchin: So I am searching the whole building trying to find my suit. I thought I had really lost my clothes!!! Go figure....those catecholamines.....
Today started off pretty rough. Daughter was sick and there was a two hour delay for the public schools. My 8:00AM final in Spanish was initially cancelled and then changed to one hour delay. So I am trying to find my Biophysics professor and my daughter starts throwing up. I unknowingly miss my Spanish final until it's too late. (Thankfully I am taking it with another class tomorrow!) How could anything be worse...but in the end it all worked out and I found my prof for Biophysics and turned in my final exam and went home....Whew! Somehow through all of that my daughter got better !
Anyways...Here is a little something...not only does it sum up my life in two pages but it might be a useful guide when writing your own personal statement. Note: It took me a long time to write this and many revisions, please treat it with respect and don't copy. (I knew you wouldn't anyways ). Here ya go!!
Personal Statement for Medical School
A career in medicine was not always my goal. I thought the purpose of my life was to be a contemporary modern dancer. When I was fifteen, my dance teacher took me to the hospital for injuries unrelated to dance. I heard the doctor confide to my teacher "no child deserves to live like that." Consequently, the Department of Child Services was called and I never went back home. As a result of these circumstances, I learned the value of taking control of my life and the importance of hard work to achieve a higher quality of life. I was granted emancipation at the age of seventeen and finished high school while supporting myself by working full time at the local grocery store.
After graduation, dance continued to be my focus. I moved to Miami where I attended the New World School of the Arts on a two-year scholarship. Next, I moved to Winston Salem to attend the North Carolina School of the Arts. Over the course of three years as a dance major, I began to realize that the desire to be a dancer was my mother's and not mine. I became increasingly disillusioned with dance and eventually left school. After I married and had my children, I grew restless to improve my situation in life. I wanted to be a good role model for my children and at the same time help others. I initially wanted to become a physician, but career counselors directed me into nursing. They viewed my children as a hindrance while I saw them as my greatest asset. When I returned to school in nursing, I met with immediate success. Good grades, encouragement from my professors, the love of physiology and other basic science classes have led me back towards pursuing medicine.
The defining moment that solidified my desire to be a physician came when I helped my friend deliver her stillborn child. When she was settled I walked back into her room and saw a small pink and blue blanket on her chest. She carefully lifted her baby girl off her chest and handed her to me. My hands reached out in reverence to envelop the tiny package, and through the flannel material the baby's coolness took my heat away. I pulled back the corner of the blanket and with my eyes I witnessed the perfect union of husband and wife in this infant. Zoë had her mother's eyes and nose and her father's lips and feet, each with five perfect little toes. She appeared to be in a restful sleep. However, the periwinkle color of her skin forced me to acknowledge the arrested development of what would have otherwise been a perfect creation. My mind and heart connected concerning the mortality of this child and quickly my sadness led to tears. The intimate association between Zoë and me caused me to be aware of her thwarted potential and I, thus, realized my fullest potential.
Prior to Zoë’s death I had naively believed that our bodies could somehow perpetuate themselves indefinitely. I recognize now that the human body's ability for adaptation and proliferation was finite. The pain I have felt by the loss and the suffering of loved ones during my life has reinforced my desire to investigate, understand, and help to solve some of the mysteries in medicine. By incorporating my life experience into a career in medicine, I believe that I can make a significant contribution to the quality of life of my future patients and those around them.
I am currently working on a basic science project to understand the role of cyclooxygenase enzymes in age specific pain behavior. Through this project I have realized that successful research requires the collaboration of many individuals volunteering knowledge and insight to improve experimental design and the interpretation of unexpected outcomes. I have excitedly embraced research where I am constantly around culturally diverse individuals who share the same interest as me - understanding the human body.
I am writing my first medical manuscript. This will be used for my Senior Honors Project. This project is a gratifying and humbling experience for me as I am reminded of the vast amount of information I have yet to learn and the unfound knowledge yet to be discovered. The simple idea of investigation, for the purpose of understanding the unknown, motivates me. My goal is to incorporate my findings with clinical applications in order to implement, as well as validate, standard forms of care for improved outcomes of patients.
Growing into the role of physician is a dynamic process dependent on the incorporation of a myriad of experiences past, present, and future. Some will be of a personal nature, such as the death of Zoë, while others will be of an intellectual nature, such as collaboration and research. I understand now that medicine goes beyond improving just physical health. Mental and social health aspects concerning the quality of life are also involved. This understanding will enable me to help others to improve their lives to the best of their ability. I embrace any and all challenges allowing me to grow and achieve my fullest potential as an excellent physician.