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Residency Surgery, Puerto Rican Surgeon

Being selected for your residency program in surgery would be a great source of pride for me, my family, and my community in Puerto Rico. Everyone is amazed that I could do so well in medical school, because it is in English. Indeed, it was a special challenge early on in medical school as a result of serious family problems; but I persevered and my grades improved considerably. I subsequently attained honors in most of my clerkships.  All this made me wiser and more mature, strengthening me personally and professionally.

 I am characterized by perseverance and determination. I come from a small Spanish-speaking island that is renowned for its strong traditions, family unity and warmth. And this has very much influenced who I am. My personal warmth helps to endear me to my patients. So even tell me that they love my accent. Furthermore, given demographic realities and trends, it is useful to have a surgeon on board whose mother tongue is Spanish. I see surgery as my social service as well as my vocation, and I am anticipating serving in an urban context with a large Hispanic population. I support initiative taken by President Obama to provide some assistance to our people of limited resources to enjoy the benefits of health care, especially life-saving surgery. I happen to believe very strongly that the socioeconomic status of a patient should never serve to undermine the quality of the medical service that the patient receives. While hard to achieve in practice, it is a moral principle of profound importance, equal access to care. As a result of these convictions, in addition to hoping to serve a large Hispanic population, I also hope to have the privilege to operate on many people of limited resources, including the homeless. Of course, large urban centers with large Hispanic populations all have their share of health care challenges.

 Perhaps my single most valuable professional experience has been my trip to Haiti for a month, this past June, 2010, with the XXXX Medical Mission. I performed physical examinations of countless patients ranging in age from infants to the elderly, developing assessment and treatment plans in ambulatory primary health clinics in different neighborhoods of Port-Au Prince, under the supervision of licensed physicians. We were treating 500-600 patients per day directly affected in one way or another by the earthquake. I also served as a mentor for junior medical students. Another challenging chapter of my life was with XXXX, (2008-2009), a program for women who are sex workers and/or are drug users. We encouraged them to take personal control over their physical and emotional health. HIV and STD prevention education, of course, was the central focus of our initiative. At the same time that I keenly look forward to spending long hours in the service of the medically underserved, I will always faithfully stay abreast of developments in the medical literature. These are my most relaxing moments of the day, learning how to do even better what I already do quite well, and so it shall always be. I am anxious to gain greater experience as a surgeon. In the long term, I would like to start a private practice in Puerto Rico after developing another specialization in plastic surgery. There are very few plastic surgeons in Puerto Rico that do charity work for the many patients who are in need. Plastic surgery is very expensive and I would like to make it more affordable for my people, especially patients disfigured from trauma and kids with congenital defects. I want to thank you for considering me for your program.

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