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Cardiology Residency, Rural India

My decision to enter medicine is a coalescence of several driving forces. My admiration and respect for doctors and their noble work is one of my primary reasons for wanting to pursue a career in medicine. The other is the simple fact that the vast ocean of knowledge, the continual advances in treatment, and the ability to cure disease fascinate me. In medical school, my open mind and experiences in a wide range of specialties were key factors in my personal growth and career objectives. 

During my internal medicine rotations, I worked with a variety of patients, from a range of economic, social and cultural backgrounds, and featuring a wide range of conditions. While I mastered the techniques of taking patient histories and conducting thorough physical examinations, each patient taught me something new. I actively involved myself in my ward duties and routine diagnostic procedures to gain hands-on experience, willingly stayed up late discussing cases and monitoring patients with my colleagues, and eagerly spent my free hours sitting in the wards, interacting with and educating patients about their diseases. Long interested in education and community outreach, I also plunged into various community services including HIV counseling, rural school health checkups and health camps organized by my institution. Helping the underprivileged have a positive outlook on life and bringing smiles to their faces, during medical school and my time in India, has been extremely rewarding. 

After graduating from medical school, I had the opportunity to serve as the medical officer in charge of forty-two villages in rural India, with a population of 33,000. While managing an outpatient clinic, antenatal and post-natal care, deliveries, and patient admissions, I matured as a physician and learned to apply my education in a clinical setting. I also carried out various national health programs including the World Health Organization's Malaria Control, Universal Immunization, Maternal and Child health, and Leprosy Control programs. 

During a rainy season, a cholera epidemic struck one of the villages and flooded the hospital with patients. My colleague and I went from house to house, educating people about the importance of sanitation and chlorination of water, but despite our efforts, the epidemic spread to the neighboring villages. Although I felt helpless and angry at the lack of technology and resources that bound my hands, my colleagues and I decided to fight as a team. Nursing sick people back to health gave me my first taste of satisfaction as a physician and helped me to appreciate the severity and complexity of healthcare issues today. 

I intend to take full advantage of a residency program in internal medicine and to use the knowledge I acquire there to heal patients and train others interested in the field. My diverse life experiences have helped me realize that I possess the determination, resilience, mental strength and compassion to succeed as a valuable asset to a medical team. I want to be a resource for my patients and a source of continual medical care. Considering the strong healthcare system, numerous opportunities for research, and advanced technology in America, this is where I see my dream coming true. 

Personal Statement #4 I was born and brought up in the picturesque countryside of Kerala. I was taught in a Christian school that encouraged close interaction among students and teachers for fuller development of an honest and compassionate personality. From the beginning itself science related subjects fascinated me for they represented a natural inquisitiveness and curiosity that is a distinctive feature of the human mind. My schooling was punctuated with numerous scholarships and awards for my proficiency in these subjects. In high school I decided to go for a career in Medicine as it involves the unique responsibility of helping and caring for people while also providing a continuing intellectual challenge. To make a patient, who initially presents frightened and anxious, to relax and smile and say thank you, after getting appropriately treated with a compassionate and humane attitude, appears to me to be the greatest reward any human being can ask for. My hard-work, commitment and sincerity paid off when I was selected to the premiere medical institute of my country-in fact South Asia-All India Institute Of Medical Sciences (AIIMS); where only the top 34 students of a country of a billion people get admission after a stiff & competitive entrance examination.
The atmosphere of this Institute encourages free thought and has been an ideal fertile ground for some of the best clinicians and medical scientists of the country. The unique mode of teaching in this Institute involves case studies, case discussions, integrated seminars and lectures that help in developing a sound theoretical base. AIIMS being the nodal center in the health services of the nation attracts a large number of patients representing a broad spectrum of conditions. I was fortunate in being exposed to such cases and I could learn the most modern methods of management employed to effect a cure and alleviate the suffering of these people. However such a large load of patients has led to an overload of facilities available here and the desired focus on research is lost sometimes. The internship rotation further consolidated my clinical skills and made my desire to be amongst the highest order research facility even more acute. The academic facilities in US institutions are amongst the best in the world and so I decided to apply here. During my undergraduation, my curiosity in exploring the socio-cultural aspects of diseases prompted me to become the Batch Leader and along with my colleagues I completed four community based research projects, in addition to lots of health talks and street plays dealing with the social cancers of smoking, alcoholism and AIDS. These activities have helped me get an insight into this oft-forgotten aspect of Medicine.
My interest in Internal Medicine for Residency is centered on the fact that of all branches of Medicine it remains the one where a comprehensive care-plan for the patient involving all aspects of management is developed. The ability to extract from a mass of contradictory physical signs and volumes of laboratory data those items that are of crucial significance; to know in a difficult case whether to treat or to watch; and to estimate in any given clinical scenario whether a proposed treatment entails a greater risk than the disease itself are all involved in the decisions that an internist must make many times a day and therein lies the thrill of Internal Medicine. Besides, Internal Medicine throws open a multitude of fascinating sub-specialties and branches for research and fellowship.
After finishing my MBBS, I decided to strengthen my knowledge in basics-and Microbiology came to my mind first. In a developing country like India, plagued by infectious diseases, a Microbiology Lab is the hub of all activities. The postings in Bacteriology and Tuberculosis Lab fascinated me and provided me with an insight into these all-important fields.My passions are Karate and swimming. My leadership abilities came into the limelight when I was unanimously elected as the Class Representative for two consecutive years of final MBBS. My personal experiences have taught me compassion for the sick and an ability to identify with them in a unique way. My karate training has given me self-confidence, drive and initiative; when something needs to be done, I do it. I never quit until a job is complete, and a job is never completed unless done correctly. I have always pushed myself hard because I knew I could do better. In medical school I studied the material because it was essential to the care of the patients I will one day see. In addition to possessing drive, compassion and integrity, I learn quickly and apply knowledge to benefit my patients.
I seek a residency program that will provide a solid teaching foundation by both faculty and residents and a broad clinical experience in both inpatient and ambulatory settings. I welcome the opportunity for clinical research during my training. I want to work with people who are also passionate about their work and are well rounded in their lifestyles. Most importantly, I want a program that fosters a team atmosphere where faculty and residents work together for the patient's welfare.
I am committed to working sincerely in my residency training and am pledged to devote all my energies towards this end.

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