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Dermatology MSc Diploma, HIV, Skin Disease

Now 27, I earned my medical degree in my native Kenya and subsequently completed my internship at a major hospital, attending to patients in a broad variety of areas. I have chosen Dermatology to pursue as my specialization for a variety of reasons not the least of which is that Africa leads the world in skin disease. Earning a Diploma from XXXX University by completing your Diploma Program in Dermatology will be the crowning achievement of my life thus far and prepare me to respond to this desperate need. Kenya, in particular, has a desperate need for well-trained dermatologists.

I am currently serving as a junior doctor at the leading cosmetic dermatology center in Nairobi. Completing your diploma program will enable me to fulfill my current duties to the fullest extent possible, excelling more and more each day.  I am certain that Dermatology is the field to which I want to devote my professional life and I see furthering my education in this area as unfolding in a 2-step process. First, I plan to distinguish myself in your diploma program and get excellent grades that will enable me to be accepted to a highly competitive MSc program in Dermatology. My central, long term goal is to fully distinguish myself as a researcher in my chosen area. I suffered from acne as an adolescent, helping to make my sensitive to the psychological and social aspects of many skin afflictions and I hope to excel in this area.

I seek a solid foundation in the broad gambit of skin conditions and diseases with a special interest in HIV-related skin disease because this is a major issue in Kenya. Another area of special interest is Vitiligo because it doesn't have a cure and I have seen quite a number of patients with it here. I want to be able to make a difference in my patients’ lives every day; helping to restore their confidence.

Ever since I can remember I wanted to be a doctor. The biggest influence has been my father who is a physician. I was always fascinated by how he would 'miraculously fix' people. I looked up to him and his ability and knew early on that I wanted to follow in his footsteps. During high school I excelled in the sciences and that made my decision even easier. Serving as a member of the St. John Ambulance Corp in high school also augmented my passion for medicine, teaching me precision and discipline, determination and perseverance. Medical school gave me the necessary foundation upon which to continue to grow and blossom. My internship provided me with much needed experience, refining my clinical skills and knowledge and helping me to learn to think on my feet in a very fast-paced environment.

Some of the most difficult and intriguing cases that I have dealt with so far include Stevens-Johnson Syndrome (SJS) caused by antiretrovirals (ARVs) for treatment of HIV. Another patient suffered from Kaposi's Sarcoma which is also HIV related. This patient could not afford to go to a specialist or to the national referral hospital. So, under the supervision of my mentor, I did my first skin biopsy to confirm the diagnosis and we started the patient on chemotherapy, to which he responded well. I have learned a great deal from the patients that I have treated, a teenage boy with acne conglobata (severe form of acne), for example, who was bullied in school and suffered from very low self esteem and depression. We started him on oral Isotretinion (Accutane) and he responded very well. He was a whole new person the next time I saw him - smiling. Another salient example is a patient with severe acne scars and very self conscious about it. She always used make up to cover it up and it had a negative effect on her relationships. A couple of laser treatments later she was happier than ever. Perhaps the most delicate case of all, however, and the patient that most frequently crosses my mind, is the young lady with self-inflicted cuts on her arms and legs which had left her with horrible scars. Laser treatments were helpful only to a certain point.

I enjoy travel, swimming, and music in addition to reading. An Indian woman, part of the Indian Diaspora in Africa, I speak, read, and write Gujarati and Hindi in addition to English and Kiswahili. I am also at an intermediate level in French. I thank you for considering my application to your distinguished Dermatology Diploma Program at XXXX.

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