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Internal Medicine Residency, Nigerian Applicant

If there is one thing which I have come to appreciate in my many years in the medical profession it is that no matter how much we think we know there is always going to be something new to learn. When I first started out along my chosen career path I was determined to be the best doctor I could possibly be and to me that means constantly challenging my own abilities. If we do not stop and evaluate our lives from time to time then we can never know whether we are performing to the best of our capabilities. This is why I feel I am at the right stage in my career to push myself that little bit further.

 From the beginning I faced enormous challenges that demanded a great deal of commitment and focus on my long term goals. I grew up in a rural community in Nigeria which typically lacked even the most rudimentary healthcare service. For a community of thirty thousand people there was only one visiting doctor and the nearest medical facility was over twenty miles away. With no form of transport and little money, treatment was unattainable for the vast majority of us. Unfortunately my father was suffering from congestive cardiac failure so we had to make the long trip to the community clinic on a regular basis. My father eventually succumbed to his illness but by this time my mind had already been made up. By following my dream of becoming a doctor, I realised I would be in the privileged position of being able to give back to these defenseless villages who had been forgotten by those whose duty it was to care. I was committed to succeed and I completed my university entrance exams with top marks.

 I have always been aware that the medical profession is one of myriad alternatives and measureless opportunities. The decisions that we make will inevitably take us in new directions and open the way for us to learn and experience new ideas. I did my internship in General Hospital in Lagos and during the numerous clinical rotations I became really fascinated by internal medicine. Through contact with the patients I realised how effective a good physician can be, not only in a practical and clinical sense, but also in a compassionate and understanding way that allows us to treat people with humanity and dignity during a hugely traumatic period of their lives.

 I believe that the opportunity to relieve the suffering of others has been a driving force in my career from the very beginning. While still in Nigeria I worked on a community preventative medicine and immunization program. This was a great eye – opener for me and it demonstrated quite clearly the power of preventative medicine even in the poorest and most deprived reaches of my country. It also revealed that within every field of medicine there is huge room for improvement both in basic healthcare and in more advanced procedures and practices. I think that my experiences to date have given me a very good insight into the ways in which medicine is improving the living conditions for so many people around the world.

 Before I emigrated to the United States, my medical career was extremely varied and particularly rewarding. From large city hospitals, to community hospitals and multidisciplinary medical centers, I was able to discover many different facets of medicine and witness its impact on patients from all walks of life. Examination and diagnosis and treatment were all a part of my job but what was most rewarding for me was being given the chance to educate people so that they could understand their ailments and perhaps prevent them from occurring again. If these lessons were well learnt then there was a good chance that the knowledge would make its way back to rural communities and the knock on effect would be invaluable. Most recently I have taken an active role as a medical educator, teaching pathology, clinical medicine and immunology. It is hugely rewarding to be able to give back to the community that gave me the chance to become what I am today.

 I am confident that I am fully prepared to take a step forward on my career path and that is why I am hoping to be accepted onto a residency program in internal medicine. I have worked hard all my life and have accepted each challenge with courage and commitment. I know that I have come along way from my humble beginnings and I am thankful for every opportunity that I have been given to prove myself a good physician. I realise that many challenges lie ahead but with devotion and a passion for my chosen field I feel ready to face them and to succeed.

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