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Cardiology Residency, Public Health

Medical school has been a time of profound personal, emotional, and, intellectual growth. My journey has been molded by the passing of my grandparents, the gratefulness of patients I have encountered, and the example of inspiring attending physicians. After having the opportunity to rotate through many specialties as a student, I believe what has been said by many: “Internists are who people think of when they think of a doctor.” Through my experiences, internal medicine embodies what I envision a physician to be: compassionate, respected, and knowledgeable. I am looking forward to a career in internal medicine for the intellectual stimulation that will challenge me, the opportunity to provide continuous care for my patients, and the opportunity to be an advocate for both patients and fellow physicians. 

My grandmother passed away just as I was beginning medical school, and my grandfather passed away early during my second year. During the end-stages of their lives I found myself traveling back and forth between school in the Midwest and home in Arizona as many as three times a month to help with their care. I observed hospital care from the point-of-view of the patient and the patient’s family including the day-to-day concerns for quality of life. Being there during my grandparents’ final weeks of life and being able to let them know how important they were to me was a valuable experience. Someday, I will be taking care of someone’s grandmother or grandfather or uncle or sister. And I will remember my experience with my own grandparents. 

I was also inspired by what medicine could do for my patients. During my junior medicine clerkship I found a niche where I could play an important role. With fewer responsibilities I could spend more time with my patients explaining in treatments and diagnostics in more detail. One of my patients who had been admitted for recurring chest pain, told me that he and his wife were moved by my calming influence throughout his course in the E.D. and upon admission to the telemetry floor. Encouraged by these experiences, I was inspired to learn about my patient’s condition for my personal intellectual stimulation as well as for the education my patient. Internists are well-respected for their knowledge and ability to manage complex cases. I enjoy solving complex problems in a systemic and methodical manner. I believe that armed with the knowledge that an internal medical residency could equip me with, I could treat the whole person: their emotional needs as well as their medical needs. I would have the opportunity to continue to care for my patients, work with them to prevent future symptoms, and develop lasting friendships. 

I have been further inspired by my attendings during my rotations. Despite managed care time restraints, I especially admire those physicians who took the time to explain and give comfort to their patients. These were the doctors I would like to become someday: doctors who are knowledgeable and skilled, thorough but efficient, and acting as compassionate allies in a place where there is pressure to discharge patients as quickly as possible. In my career I plan to be a strong advocate for my patients, while also being an advocate for physicians in the increasingly complex and difficult world of medicine. Prior to medical school, during my study of public health and during my experience as a Congressional Intern, I was interested in the future of health care with its concerns with cost, accessibility, and physician liability. Physicians have a special role in society as they are trusted by patients and respected by policy makers, allowing us to be strong advocates for our patients and our community. 

I have been inspired to continue my education in internal medicine in a strong academic residency program. I would also like to complete a fellowship following my completion of residency with plans to practice in an urban or suburban environment. I look forward to a career in internal medicine with the hope to provide compassionate care, to receive intellectual stimulation, and to build life-long friendships with patients and colleagues.

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