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Medical School Admission, Nurse, HIV

March 30, 2016

As a registered nurse who has had the privilege of devoting several years to HIV research, I feel that I have a head start on many applicants to medical school as a result of my intensive exposure to numerous, critical medical issues that have helped me to better appreciate the complex dynamics of patient care and the enormity of the moral issues involved in disparities of that care along, regional, racial, and most of all, economic lines.

I intended, from the age of 6, to pursue a medical career because of the very positive impressions I had gained of the kind people in white coats who successfully and sympathetically treated my father following a serious injury. I lost sight of this ambition, as an adult, for a while but, when I became involved in HIV research, it returned in a very strong way. My work involved some patient interaction and this fired a yearning to be of help to people in a more direct way. I then decided to pursue a nursing qualification and gain nursing experience to prepare me for what I now see to be my vocation as a physician. My goal is to join the program, excel within it and to become an excellent practitioner in a hospital serving an underserved community.  

I am a graduate scientist and experienced researcher. Among the qualities of a good scientist/researcher are: persistence; determination; the ability to identify relevant from irrelevant data; an ability to both work independently and to operate effectively within a team; and an ability to apply original thinking. I have honed these qualities during my undergraduate and research work and I strongly believe that these characteristics are directly applicable to the practice of medicine and especially in the art of accurate and timely diagnosis.

I believe that my nursing training and experience provides another excellent foundation for success in the program. Most of my nursing experience has been gained in the medical and surgical fields but I also have experience of pediatrics, obstetrics and women’s health, psychiatric nursing and community health. I have a keen awareness of the how the different kinds of medical expertise collaborate to reach successful outcomes. An important lesson that I have learned is that it is perfectly possible to care very well for patients while failing to give the impression that one actually cares about them. I would rather be treated by someone who knows the value of a smile and is possessed of a warm personality than someone, perhaps better qualified, who treats me as a ‘bundle of symptoms’. I intend to apply the fruits of this knowledge throughout my own medical career. I have also developed an awareness of the vital importance in medicine of being sensitive to non-verbal signals and reacting appropriately to them, this is an art that I hope to develop and apply throughout my career.

My sales work might not appear to be immediately relevant to this application but I do believe that my success and experience in this sphere is also a positive indicator of my potential as a physician. It was absolutely necessary to relate well and easily to people of all kinds, to be able to both interest and inform individuals and groups and, having significant autonomy, to be able to organize one’s time to maximum effect.

I have acted as an instructor for the ‘Wellness for a Lifetime’ health promotion program, a community-based, multidimensional strategy to promote behavior changes among high-risk, ethnically diverse, low-income adults. I regard this kind of work as being extremely important and intend to devote a significant amount of time, once qualified, in such preventative endeavors. I am very aware that the aging of the population will have a growing impact on health service provision and strongly believe that its future impact can be significantly moderated by the wide use of such programs. I would be interested in assisting in research into the design and implementation of such preventative programs.

I was a member of a church Health Ministry Team for 2 years and worked as a hospice volunteer for 2 years. These experiences have been very important in my personal development and I gained as much from this work as those whom I sought to help. I learned much about the importance and efficacy of palliative care which is likely to be a growing feature of medicine in the future.

I have happily worked with, studied alongside, socialized with and treated people of many cultural and social backgrounds. I look forward to widening these experiences within the program.

I know that there will be many, well qualified applicants for places in medical programs but I genuinely believe that I am an excellent candidate for medical training. I am an experienced medical researcher, a qualified nurse with exposure to a variety of contrasting specialties and I am a mature person with varied life experiences with which I shall be able ‘add value’ in the mix of my class. However, my main recommendation is a genuine and passionately held desire to acquire the skills and knowledge that will enable me to help underserved individuals and communities to maximize their healthiness and their capacity to lead full, happy and long lives.

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