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Pediatrics Personal Statement #12

You can learn much about a personís goals by knowing who he or she seeks to emulate. I have two such role models who share the quality of putting their beliefs into action. The first is Marian Wright Edelman, the founder and leader of the Childrenís Defense Fund, who is a champion for children. She has impressed me by continuing, undaunted, to press for change in a social and political climate that is unfriendly to the concerns of children.

I met my second role model during one of the most influential clinical experiences I have had as a medical studentómy junior pediatrics rotation at San Francisco General Hospital. Like Edelman, Dr. Sylvia Villarreal puts her beliefs into action. As the director of the outpatient clinic for highrisk kids, she dedicates herself to preventing her usually poor and often non-English speaking patients from falling through the cracks in a complicated medical care system. Some who work with needy populations become bitter and jaded, but a crucial lesson I learned from her is that maintaining respect and compassion for patients prevents this destructive attitude from sapping the energy such important work requires. During that rotation, I also learned a great deal from my patients, such as the 12-year old boy with Type I Diabetes, whose frustration with the limitations imposed by his illness was vented by secretly snacking on sweets. He taught me that being a good doctor entailed far more than knowing the pathophysiology of diabetic ketoacidosis; it requires an attention to the human dimension of patients and their families. In addition to a dosage schedule of insulin, he needed me to understand the emotional and psychological ramifications of his illness. This extra step of empathy is the difference between the physician as a highly skilled technician and the physician as a compassionate ally.

My decision to be a pediatrician is a coalescence of several driving forces. Perhaps most important is my desire to be an advocate, like Edelman and Villarreal, for those who may be unable to protect their own interests. All physicians can be advocates for their patients but in pediatrics the need is more compelling because children lack the political and social clout to argue their own case. Second, there is my love of teaching on a one-to-one basis. A significant part of being a pediatrician is educating children and their parents about the preventive measures needed to negotiate the pitfalls of childhood and adolescence. I look forward to the opportunity to intervene with children before their health has been damaged by environmental and social factors, such as lead poisoning and smoking.

During my study of public health, I developed a particular concern about the alarming rates of health problems such as violence, sexually-transmitted diseases and pregnancy among teens. I recognize that working with young people who are struggling to become adults, without becoming a statistic, is inherently challenging, but I also know of the immense personal satisfaction that can come from such work. Finally, I have a long-standing interest in health policy which will mesh well with pediatrics since there is such a need for comprehensive policies regarding children and adolescents. It was abundantly clear during my rotation at San Francisco General that there are enormous social and economic costs to neglecting our children. My training in public health and as a pediatrician will give me the experience and authority to draw public attention to these costs.

I see my career as one in which clinical medicine and public health policy are constantly intermingled, because my interest in both are fed by the same fundamental desire to improve the health status of underserved populations. I can intercede on an individual scale as a practicing pediatrician and on a broader scale as a physician involved in health policy. I am excited by the prospect of combining the roles of clinician, teacher, policy-maker and advocate. Marian Wright Edelman has said that ďservice is the rent we pay for living.Ē I hope to demonstrate my respect for her and others who have sought to improve the lives of children by incorporating those words into my lifeís work.


Pediatrics Personal Statement #12

 

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About USMLE

The United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) is a three-step examination for medical licensure in the United States. The Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB) and the National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME) sponsors USMLE.
The Three Steps of the USMLE
Step 1 tests the important concepts of basic sciences basic to the practice of medicine. It also places special emphasis on principles and mechanisms underlying health, disease, and modes of therapy. Step 1 ensures mastery of the sciences that provide a foundation for the safe and competent practice of medicine. It also tests the scientific principles required for maintenance of competence through lifelong learning.
Step 2 CK tests the medical knowledge, skills, and understanding of clinical science essential for the provision of patient care under supervision. It also includes emphasis on health promotion and disease prevention. Step 2 CK ensures that due attention is devoted to principles of clinical sciences and basic patient-centered skills.
Step 2 CS tests your capacity to practice and provide good medical service in real-life situations. It also tests your communication skills.
Step 3 tests your medical knowledge and understanding of biomedical and clinical science essential for the unsupervised practice of medicine. Step 3 provides a final assessment of physicians assuming independent responsibility for delivering general medical care.

 

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