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General Surgery Personal Statement #1

My love for surgery blossomed during medical school. Although didactics gave me a clearer picture of the scope and depth of the field, it was the clinical rotations that revealed the full beauty of surgery to me. As a lover of the arts I greatly admired the way surgery balanced art with science more than any other field of medicine. The first time I assisted in a plastic surgery procedure, I was thoroughly impressed by the way the surgeon expertly and precisely used skin flaps to reconstruct the burned face of a twelve-year-old boy. More than just aesthetics, it was the new confidence the surgery brought to the boy that made an impression on me. I marveled at how quick and dramatic the improvements in our patients were. A young man bent over in pain from acute appendicitis was pain-free just a few hours after being rushed to the hospital. A numb, cold and ashen forearm was miraculously saved by microsurgery. These experiences further reinforced my love for the field. But if I had to mark the event that made me certain that surgery was for me, it would have to be my first minor operation. The procedure was merely an excision of a sebaceous cyst. It was by no means a big deal, but the unexplainable rush that I got from performing the procedure confirmed that I truly loved surgery. I was thrilled by the fact that I could directly and physically contribute to the health of my patient. It was a heady experience. But as with most things I love, I opted to view the difficulties as challenges, and have thus remained steadfast in my choice of specialty.

Although I believe that great surgeons are trained, not born, I also believe that there are basic skills one must possess to become an effective surgeon. I have developed my finger dexterity by starting to play the piano at the age of six and by dabbling in various crafts. There is also the matter of having a sharp eye and a quick mind, both of which I have exercised in my love for art and puzzles. I set high standards for myself and am most critical of my own work. Aside from possessing the qualities required of an aspiring surgeon, I believe that I have the necessary measure of desire to become not just a good surgeon, but an excellent one. I have weathered many storms in my life, including the trials of medical school and the untimely death of my father. I believe that I have matured enough emotionally and professional to be able to handle the challenges of surgery.

My aspirations can only be realized by participating whole-heartedly in the best training program possible. I am looking for a residency program that will give structure and discipline to my advancement in the field. A wide variety and large number of cases would be optimal in honing the skills I will acquire. Research would complement the clinical training and give me the opportunity to contribute to the science of surgery. I am eager to find a stimulating environment where residents support one another and attending physicians are willing to share their vast wealth of knowledge. A training program that will allow me to pursue my other interests, such as photography, singing, reading and enjoying the outdoors, would be more than ideal.

Ten years from now, I envision myself to be a world-class plastic surgeon practicing in my home country, subspecializing in breast and burn reconstruction. These fields have not been given much attention yet in the Philippines and I intend to be among the pioneers, both as a surgeon and as a teacher. I also mean to become a member of the faculty of the University of the Philippines. My devotion to the field cannot be complete until I share my love for it with the next generation of doctors. As with most surgeons, my love affair with surgery is a lifelong commitment, one that I am eager to begin and cultivate at your institution.


General Surgery Personal Statement #1

 

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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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