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Surgery Residency, Applicant from Belarus

It has always been difficult for me to sit back and relax, satisfied with what I have done—because I always want to do it better. I have been especially serious and highly motivated since the age of 16, ever since that day that a log struck my father in the abdomen while he was working. I thought he was dying and that I would never see him again. Despite the limited resources devoted to emergency medicine in my native Belarus, however, the surgeons were able to save his life. Thus, they became my foremost heroes, and thereby inspired my career path early on. After many years of study through trying times for my family, I never lost sight of my dream, and I became a surgeon, eventually having the profound privilege of working with the same surgeons that saved my father’s life. My personal tragedy turned into victory through the scalpel.

 Our move from Belarus to the United States was accompanied by vast challenges, economic, linguistic, and cultural that further served to fortify my resolve to excel as a surgeon. Again, I look towards the future undeterred as I take another important step, joining a Surgery Residency Program. I feel that all of the challenges that I have met in life, when taken together, have prepared me to give my all to your program.

 I have always believed that our number one responsibility as physicians is to save lives first, and second to provide the best treatment possible, labouring tirelessly for a full recovery of the patient. I continually search for new opportunities to learn and to broaden my knowledge base concerning advancements in medicine, especially surgery. I hope to join a residency program in surgery that will provide me constant challenges so that I will be able to realize my fullest potential. I see complacency as the number one enemy of the medical profession. I live to improve my capacity, dexterity, and general prowess as a surgeon.

 My professional experience thus far, both in Belarus and later in the United States, has given me a very good understanding of general medicine and has helped to further prepared me to excel as a surgeon. I have always enjoyed seeing the successful results of my work and the satisfaction of correct diagnostics leading to successful treatment. I have become highly adept at independent decision making, especially under great pressure, and, throughout my tenures, I have concentrated on honing my practical skills and absorbing as much working knowledge as I can. I am called to the unique demands of surgery and I keenly look forward to long, arduous hours that will fully test my capacity and push me further and further, caring for patients from all walks of life, guiding them through the necessary steps, from simple outpatient procedures to the complexities of intensive care units. Excelling in surgery is my craft, my soul, and my identity as a human being in the service of his fellowman.

 When I reflect on how far I have come since medical school, I am always grateful for having made the decision to become a physician. I have been fortunate in the many opportunities that have come my way, especially since we arrived in America. I have set myself far reaching goals in the past and worked hard to ensure that I achieved them. The decision to make surgery my speciality has also raised the bar, but I have the knowledge and determination to excel. I have never shied away from a challenge and although surgery is a most complicated and time consuming discipline, for me, it is the most fulfilling speciality in medicine. Direct involvement in the decision making process is an essential part of learning  and with this in mind I seek a program which gives staff the responsibility of handling patients directly and making relevant treatment decisions. I am highly confident of my ability to excel in such a program.

 Not long after entering the medical school, I began scrubbing in to observe on weekend surgeries and it helped me better understand my future specialty: priceless experience from the word go. My “hands-on” skills and my interest in the variety of surgical cases further cemented my desire to pursue a career in surgery.  The logical and methodical problem-solving strategies used in surgery are well-suited to my abilities. I also very much appreciate the way in which surgery provides me with the opportunity to make full use my interpersonal skills and establish a rapport with patients, calming their fears. Immediately after I graduated from the medical school, I began my first surgery residency in Belarus and also began teaching surgery at a local medical college. This provided me with numerous opportunities to master my time-management skills and trained me to work under stress. Later, I concurrently worked as surgeon in an ambulatory and a hospital for three years. I took profound delight in seeing the successful results of my work, savouring the fact that my diagnosis was correct.

 I am thankful to my wife, who allows me to practice medicine around the clock while she attends to all the other needs of our family. Thus, when not practicing, I am generally studying or attending a conference. I am also chronically afflicted with a love for both soccer and basketball; sweat and teamwork make me a better surgeon.

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