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Pediatrics Residency Program, Indian Applicant

I believe that there are moments in life when our paths alter course without our being aware of it. Some would call this fate but I prefer to believe that this is the calling which we wait for all our lives. In my case it came at a very young age but, nevertheless, the impact that it was to have on my life up until now has been immeasurable and I am convinced that it was this experience that has led me to where I am today.

 I was born and raised in a small village in India which, like so much of the countryside, lacked all but the most basic medical facilities. There was a registered medical practitioner who would make regular visits but he was soon overwhelmed by the huge task that faced him. As a young girl this didn’t really affect me until one of my closest friends, my cousin, fell ill and was eventually diagnosed with blood cancer. To the family this was devastating. Treatment was very expensive and despite all our efforts to raise money, my cousin succumbed to the disease.

 For my family this was a real moment of awakening. My father moved us to the city so that we could improve our chances of a decent education. Despite the prohibitive costs my father began nurturing the idea in me that I should strive to become a doctor and as my interest in the science of medicine increased, so too did my determination to succeed. There were of course large obstacles which I still had to overcome, not least of which was our financial situation. However, with the unwavering support of my family and my own hard work and commitment I was able to secure a free admission to Osmania Medical College.

 My experiences up until now have been unbelievably rewarding. I became fascinated with the study of human anatomy, embryology and the pathophysiology of innumerable diseases. During rotation we worked in teams which gave us invaluable opportunities to discuss the different cases and their presentations. This interaction continued during internship as we worked closely with senior residents and nurses and this has given me a great deal of confidence in dealing with my peers and voicing my own opinions.

 Clinical studies are undeniably the cornerstone of my medical training but as I came increasingly into contact with patients, I found that I was receiving enormous satisfaction from interacting with individuals. Taking history and case presentations brought me into a position of being able to help them understand their situation and the various ways in which we could help to relieve their suffering. I have become quite convinced that a good physician needs not only the skills and training that allow him to perform at the highest level but also the compassion and understanding to be able to reassure his patients during a most traumatic time in their lives.

 All these experiences have given me a very good knowledge of basic medicine and I love the idea that whatever path I choose, the opportunities to learn and improve further will continue to present themselves. Every rotation has been different but my thoughts always seem to return to my childhood in India and the needless suffering of young children. My first day of paediatrics rotation was in the outpatient department which was an inspiration; young kids suffering from the most appalling handicaps and in the most terrible pain, yet showing a courage and stoicism that was beyond my comprehension. I knew then that I would devote my life to paediatric care.

 I realise that my chosen field is a great deal more complex than simply looking after children. It is often the case that the parents and loved ones are those most in need of a helping hand and constant reassurance. This demands patience and understanding, which are both qualities that I possess. It is undeniably a joy to be present at the birth of a child and especially rewarding to be able to assist should the process appear to be faltering. As a child continues to grow, so too does the role of the paediatrician, as we try to guide both child and parents through each stage of the development which will eventually shape their adult life. It is also sadly the case that many children do not get the chance to develop in a suitable environment and it is these children who may benefit most from a caring physician whom they can learn to trust.

 I believe that evaluating ones progress in life is very important. Otherwise we have no way of knowing whether we are living up to our fullest potential. The desire to be more than I am is my greatest motivation and it is this inner drive that has influenced my decision to obtain a higher education. I have developed a passion for paediatrics and I believe that a post graduate degree from a top hospital will provide me with a sound platform for my future carer. I am totally convinced that I have the knowledge and the determination to succeed.

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