Pediatric Personal Statement
Pediatric Personal Statement
My fascination with the field of medicine started as early as my primary school years. I remember walking home from school with my father one day, when I saw a sign that had the name Hassan Kashef followed by the word “Pediatrician”. I had never had of the word pediatrician before that time, and I asked my father what it meant. He told me that a pediatrician is a doctor who studies medicine and uses his knowledge to treat children. From then on, I realized that I wanted to become a pediatrician. I come from a region where children suffer from all manner of diseases and infections. This limits their chances of survival, and they have to abandon any dreams and aspirations they have because of disease and death.
Where I come from, doctors are treated with the utmost respect. They are appreciated and valued because of their abilities to make people better. This enhanced my goal of becoming a doctor. Not only did I want to be a respected and valuable member of my community, I also wanted to make a positive change in people’s lives. I wanted to see children live to realize the fulfillment of their dreams. I kept this goal in mind throughout my years in school. I scored high marks in my high school diploma exams, and this marked my first step towards realizing my dream because I was able to join the university. I joined the reputable School of Medicine at the University of Khartoum. I realized just how hard doctors have to work and the level of commitment they have to put in their studies. For once in my life, I realized the huge responsibility that doctors have as the patients entrust them with their lives.
Studying in a country with minimal resources pushed my resolve towards realizing my dreams and becoming the best doctor. I was determined to be that person who stops at nothing to help patients. I was committed to doing my best to support, educate and help improve the quality of the patients’ lives. I acquired great clinical skills working with eminent professors who also taught us how to put the patients’ well-being as our main priority. The words “do no harm to the patient” which the professors used to tell us often, are forever engraved in my mind. I went on some medical missions that offer free medical treatment to rural areas in my country. I realized how diseases and ailments could dramatically affect people’s lives. The missions provided me with unparalleled experience in working with underserved populations. It also sharpened my clinical skills. We had no access to proper laboratories or sophisticated equipment, and we predominantly had to rely on our clinical judgment when diagnosing patients and formulating their treatment plans.
I have gained much experience by participating in social work, and this has made me realize the importance of prevention in improving people’s health. I have conducted multiple research projects and acquired knowledge in basic research methods and project coordination. I have enhanced my knowledge by taking courses dealing with respiratory tract infections in children under five years, and pediatric diabetes. I worked at many pediatrics hospitals during my internship in Sudan. This gave me the chance to gain additional experience in the field of pediatrics, clinical knowledge and skills.
Many parts of Africa continue to battle with diseases, which the developed countries have managed to contain. I came across children with a variety of medical problems. What struck me was their remarkable resilience. There was a ten year old girl with tuberculosis of the spine who was unable to walk, a seven year old boy with rickets whose bones were so bent out of shape that he could not even stand and an 8 month old malnourished baby with a voracious appetite. Despite their suffering, they kept their spirits up. Being around them was such a pleasure; it prompted me to return frequently to the wards to share a few quality hours. These experiences strengthened my resolve to pursue a residency in pediatrics.
I came to the US in the quest of realizing my dream and advancing my career. I believe that pediatrics is a natural career path for me because it provides me with an opportunity to work with people whose energy ignites my spirit. Pediatrics gives me the determination to think through problems, the curiosity to learn, and the energy to stay awake at three in the morning. Seeing the joy in a child’s face when he is healed is my complete satisfaction. A career in pediatrics will undoubtedly expand my knowledge, strengthen my clinical acumen, offer me the opportunity to conduct research in search for new cures and fulfill my lifelong aspirations.
Choosing a medical specialty for me is selecting the quality of life for which one aims. Doing what one loves the most, brings out the best in us and makes us our patients’ best advocates. This is what becoming a pediatrician represents to me. It is the future realization of that dream that started so many years ago on my way home with my father.