"I don't want my son to just exist, I want him to live," explained an exhausted father of a five month old who was failing to thrive and on a voyage to passing on. I was enchanted by these words. Such strength and love were expressed as his voice cracked with that element of sadness that forces one to gasp for a rejuvenating breath.
Reflecting upon this fellow's experience I concluded that working with children and their families was the discipline of medicine in which I wanted to train. A child's smile that is accompanied by a parent's smile is a reward that can never be matched by the world's riches. Such is what I would find satisfying and invigorating if it were to happen on occasion. With certainty, I have lived my life to embark upon an adventure that will allow me to try to bring that smile on to the face of any child.
My parents immigrated to the United States in the late 1960's. Their childhood was affected by a post-war society. They were ambitious to provide me with what every immigrant hopes for their children: a bright future. Feeling my father's kiss as he left the house at an early hour for work reminded me of how lucky I was to be cared for with such love and pride. They were quick to educate me if I was out of line. They were also quick to reward me when I deserved recognition. There was never any hesitation to announce their belief in me. I was taught to apply proper judgement in and respect for people. By watching them I learned that working hard does pay off even if there are moments of frustration and stagnation.
Growing up in New York City was a gift given to me by my parents that has been a foundation for the experiences I have acquired. Meeting, going to school and working with people of different cultures has allowed me to appreciate individuality. Learning how people, with different values and traditions, approach and handle a situation has always fascinated me. The city has given me a taste of different foods, the sound of different music and the vision of different creations. It has introduced me to different walks of life, either poor, wealthy, gifted, challenged, suffering or thriving. I have learned from so many people and been inspired to write, paint and sculpt by their remarks and gestures.
My father was a sculptor but he never had the patience to teach me technique or approach. The one lesson that I was lectured about was the value of one's life. It was his death at the young age of 52 to heart disease that forced me to mature. I was left to tend to a wound that would heal slowly. My family was devastated and I knew that I had to search for stability to ease their pain. I never did mourn until I was certain that my family was secure. He was my true mentor, a hero that never stopped fighting to provide for his family. I was given such rich memories of his diligence, intelligence and love. The end of his life clearly was in many ways the beginning of mine. As I sat for hours writing my thoughts it was clear that so many people in this world will never have what I had for 22 years. Many children suffering from abuse, neglect and disease might never have someone like my father to care for them. I awoke to such an understanding and a determination to learn what people were doing to help these kids. It is remarkable to learn where you come from when the mode of transport is taken away. My father guided me and then his memory influenced me. Medicine was always the plan but what aspect of it puzzled me.
I wanted to work with children. New York City Board of Education offered a position to be responsible for the cognitive development of teenagers. I was not academically prepared for such a challenge but the experience would allow me to develop a better understanding of what I was inquiring about after my father's death. I was given the task to teach kids from an area of NYC that had filtered through the system. Every day, when walking down the corridor to my classroom, I wondered what lesson about life would be taught. I routinely encountered a student just released from a youth correctional facility or someone to announce to me that she was pregnant or another to express suicidal thoughts.
My experience in the South Bronx helped me establish a vision. Through research and inquiry I became fascinated by how the neighborhood and family structure affected the students. It was distressing to witness how certain children would cope with stress without ever having been given the mental and emotional support that is necessary to develop the skills. I learned more about myself while working with these children.
Memorial University of Newfoundland has provided me with an education in medicine, its advances and how to solve a problem when it arises in a rural environment. Moving to St. John's has opened my eyes to a different way of life. Breath taking views, peaceful walking trails, a rich history, festive music and interesting people welcomed me to this new land. On my many rural clinical experiences so many people either of Newfoundland or native origin have taught me the value of health and how each individual defines it.
I have been marveled by how children recover from illness. It is a spectacle to witness how love and affection can act as a fuel to their healing process. Although individual characters may be strong, a fragility does exist. Their disposition can easily be altered by what goes on around them. To study what can be improved to enhance their well being, to defend their safety, to treat their illnesses and to work with them is what I would be happiest doing in my life. I have no reservations – I want to be a pediatrician.
Pediatrics Personal Statement #8
You are welcome to ask for hospital review for residency. We will be providing them to those who ask them first.
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.