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MD, Medical School, India

January 10, 2013


Growing up in India, my father was a government employee, and I led a fortunate life, one that gave me insights into the lives of the children around me, India’s have’s and have not’s.  We never forget our defining moments, turning points in which we are irrevocably changed.  The Indian government hired a maid, Rekha, for my family, a family woman herself with a son.  I will never forget how one day, she asked us for a day off, as her son was ill.  The next day, she informed us that despite the government hospital’s efforts, he had died of malaria, that his treatment had been delayed and misdiagnosed, his condition deemed a common fever.  Rekha was like family, and we grieved with her.  It was then that I realized the importance of quality medical care, and the differences between care that healed and care that was perfunctory.

 Adding to my awareness and compassion for my classmates were the changes I experienced in India, the socioeconomic mixture of students.  I remember vividly the joy in my classmates when I shared what I could from my lunchbox, lending a pen or some paper.  Their joy was mine, and my feet had been firmly set on the path of medicine, a career in which I can give all that I am, aiding in the amelioration of lives.  Moreover, through my pre-med education, I have been further convinced that I am exactly where I need to be, working in the healthcare field, working – hands-on – with people, combining science with interaction, a field that intrinsically translates into lifetime learning, consistently providing intellectual challenges and a stimulating multidisciplinary team situations.

 Moving to America was a personal choice to live with my husband in Portland, Oregon.  The move is as also an incredible opportunity to engage in the only field that has ever brought me the greatest personal and professional satisfaction, learning from the finest medical industry in the world.

 Family Medicine and healthcare research is more than a logical choice for my future, it is innate, particularly given my own nature, my belief in long-term relationships, whether they are personal or professional; I want to be there for people, especially those who believe in my abilities and me.  In the US, I have heard a saying, that the door of a priest should always be open, but the door of a physician should never be closed.  Even now, I recognize that healthcare is more than treating symptoms, that a holistic healing paradigm includes forging healthy relationships with patients. 

 While the US is a world leader in healthcare, many countries, including India are in desperate need of support.  As a medical professional, it is my ambition to channel my passion, and clinical acumen, conducting medical mission work, serving the poor, sick and needy of developing nations at all costs.  In the US, I aim to use my position to do what I can to make healthcare more affordable, talking to insurance providers and government representatives to reduce healthcare costs for the majority, not just some.  Moreover, there is a distinct need to digitize all patients’ electronic medical records, increasing the speed of access, as well as sharing data with appropriate agencies to ensure more fluid service, and simultaneously bolstering patients’ information privacy.

Since graduating high school, I have maintained a consistent, inexorable path to a career in medicine, starting with my work at one of India’s premier biotechnology institutes, working under the eminent biotechnologist Dr. XXXX, establishing my transsystemic scientific education and the beginnings of my research skills.  Indeed, I was introduced to numerous aspects of science including molecular biology, microbiology, biochemistry, proteomics and genomics, bioprocess engineering, chemical reaction engineering, chemical and biomedical thermodynamics, and much more; an excellent overview of biology, physics and chemistry, as well as their applications for improving the quality of life.

 My academic research “career” has been extensive, thorough and varied.  I developed many valuable lab skills as a Trainee at XXXX Hospital, practicing and perfecting techniques such as staining, isolation, identification and antimicrobial susceptibility testing of microorganisms, as well as rapid biochemical and antigen detection techniques, agglutination tests from infected patients.  I was also introduced to basic epidemiologic principles and the appropriate use of investigative tools such as phage typing, ELISA, immunodiffusion and direct and indirect immunofluorescence methods, techniques that proved and solidified my dexterity and love of hands-on work, not to mention the close interaction with cells and how they behave in different environments.  Applying what I had learned of industrial biotechnology bioprocess principles genetics and microbiology to interning with SPIC Pharmaceuticals, India’s only FDA-approved Penicillin –G producer, I learned how to inoculate seed medium from an agar slant and then increase the production by inoculating to fermentation medium, as well as estimating penicillin by iodometric method.  My research work continued with the chemical division of India Liquors, Ltd, the proteomics facility of CCMB (as part of the New Millenium Technology Leadership Initiative) as well as a six-month project with India’s Center for Cellular and Molecular Biology.  Overall, my ability to effectively work within multidisciplinary teams has been exercised, proven and solidified through all of these experiences.

 Now in the US, and to keep my skills alive, practiced, and prepare for my future Family Medicine residency, I sought out and procured a volunteer position, working under Caroline Enn in the Department of Cellular and Developmental Biology, learning RIA, affinity chromatography and Western blotting techniques.  Working in Dr. XXXX lab not only introduced me to basic tissue culture techniques, but also was credited as a co-author in a paper published in a 2008 issue of Nature/Leukemia.

 Most recently, I have proven that I never learned time management skills from a book; rather, I have learned them by completing my pre-med prerequisites, volunteering at the Department of Nephrology at XXXU, and volunteering in Dr. XXXX lab.  In truth, working for Dr. XXXX has proven my ability to work in a team and carry out independent scientific research equally well.  My relationship with OHSU extends to my volunteering in the trauma unit, assisting full-time healthcare professionals, providing emotional support to patients, and generally increasing my exposure to the day-to-day goings on in the hospital.  The experience has been incredible satisfying, and I look forward to each day, the next test of my skills, with great eagerness.

 XXXU is my sole choice for further education.  Through my intense and intimate contact with the facility, I am certain that I will be an excellent fit for the program.  More importantly, XXXU has repeatedly impressed me with its knowledgeable, approachable faculty, residents, attendings and support staff, people that I want to learn from.    I would be honored to undertake the challenge and opportunity of the XXXU program and continue to contribute to the community they serve.

 Thank you for your time and consideration.

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