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Residency IM, Volunteer Work, Nigeria


I believe that I have been very fortunate in my chosen career in so far as I have been given so many opportunities to prove myself a worthy physician. Ever since my graduation from the University of XXXX six years ago, I have thrown myself wholeheartedly into my work with the credo that all my experiences would help to mould me into a better doctor. As house officer I rotated through Internal Medicine, Paediatrics, Surgery, Obstetrics and Gynaecology and also gained clinical knowledge of emergency procedures. With my internship complete, I decided to become involved with a XXXX based NGO working in Nigeria to help relieve the enormous lack of basic healthcare in rural communities. This was a well coordinated outreach program and was a great chance for me to witness the benefits that good medicine can bring to even the most isolated villages.

Once I had finished my medical training in Nigeria, I moved to the XXXX, confident in the knowledge that here I would be able to push myself to a higher level. I am a great believer in the dangers of complacency and the importance of self evaluation. Only by challenging ourselves can we hope to reach our full potential. This holds especially true for medicine, as there will always be opportunities to learn from others and to appreciate new developments. My time in XXXX thus far has certainly proved this to be true. I have been able to glean a huge amount of knowledge and experience in a relatively short period of time both from my internship in XXXX and my continued volunteer work in XXXX and XXXX. Not only has this enhanced my medical abilities, it has also allowed me to make use of my communication skills which are crucial when the successful outcome of any procedure is dependent on our willingness to work together as a team.

Up until now I have always kept an open mind to see if I would develop an attraction to one particular department as I went through my clinical rotations. Not surprisingly I found every aspect of my work hugely interesting and thoroughly enjoyed learning about all the varied facets of the medical profession. It was perhaps this ability to find satisfaction in so many different specialties that led to the realization that my future lay in family medicine. As an intern I had already had the opportunity to advise patients on so many diverse issues concerning health, education and superstitions. Through contact with patients I came to realise that even when basic healthcare is in short supply, a compassionate and dedicated care giver can have a profound effect on the quality of life within communities.

As a family physician one needs to be versatile in ones knowledge of ailments, diseases and treatments as, more often than not, we are the front line of defence. We need to be continually aware of new research and developments and be constantly updating our knowledge as new medicines and procedures are brought into use. While working with Dr XXXX I learnt to appreciate fully the value of hard work, the need for patience and understanding and the strength of compassion needed when interacting with patients and their families.

Family medicine is concerned with the physical, emotional and social well being of patients through childhood to old age. Crucially it requires a superb working knowledge of paediatrics, an area of medicine to which I am irresistibly drawn. The continuity of care that paediatrics offers is unique to its field and it allows the physician to attain a comprehensive understanding of the individual patient from a very young age. Their biological, behavioural and emotional development can be documented through their very important early years, establishing a basis for future diagnostics. Completing my electives in paediatrics has equipped me with the knowledge to treat many common conditions. This insight will ultimately enable me to provide the highest quality of healthcare and allow me to experience the gratification of successful intervention. The long term relationships forged with patients and their families will ensure a strong bond of trust and confidence which I feel is one of the great strengths of family medicine.

Due to the complex nature of this speciality, I realise that few things will ever be routine. I fully recognise and accept the fundamental importance of continual education and self awareness, especially when it comes to new medical discoveries and technological advancements. Family practice and paediatrics are both exciting and varied and play a crucial role in maintaining a quality of life in so many impoverished communities around the world. Places where someday I hope my services will be required. To these ends I seek a program with a culturally and ethnically diverse patient demographic and one that will accept me as part of the team. I am looking for broad clinical experience and a cohesive and congenial working environment. I have the experience and the determination to take this important step and establish this as my own specialty. I firmly believe that given the opportunity to develop my knowledge and to acquire the requisite skills, I will be able to attain the goals which I have set myself.

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