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Radiology Residency Woman Doctor from Iraq

I am a very bright and enthusiastic young woman from Iraq who graduated in second place in her medical school class. An experienced doctor and now a permanent resident of the USA, I want to give my all to your residency program in radiology. I have now been cultivating a particular focus in radiology for the last seven years or so, and I feel strongly that I have an excellent foundation for intensive learning and performance in your distinguished program.

The summer of 2003 was one of the hottest on record in my native Baghdad, Iraq. July of that year, I spent sweating by candlelight long into the night studying for my final examinations to graduate from medical school; the war that began in March of that year put an end to our electricity. A new war basically between Shiites and Sunnis soon filled the power vacuum left by Hussein, and it continues until today. My mother is Shiite, and my father is Sunni; thus, I am jokingly referred to as “Sushi.” Perhaps this contributes to my deep and abiding hatred for war and violence, and my devotion to the cause of saving lives rather than taking them. Beginning my first internship at Baghdad Teaching Hospital was a struggle just to get to work each day between car bombs and security blockades. Most of my patients were gunshot or bombing victims; I spent long hours in surgery supporting other surgeons with limited resources, swamped by victims, many of them children. Soon, after that, doctors and university professors were targeted. I survived direct arracks; I lost friends and, professors, loved ones. I left my country in 2007 and moved to Jordan for safety and to take the next step toward a bigger dream. As a young single woman is not supposed to go off and live alone in a foreign country, not in my most traditional society, but my family was supportive.

My passion for Radiology started very early on when I was a second-year medical student, my friend’s two sisters were both radiology residents at that time and helped us to put a presentation for paranasal sinuses anatomy in which we contributed a cross-sectional anatomy using a CT scan images, our professor and everybody else were so impressed. I used to spend time in their home while they were studying for boards, looking at their textbooks. I knew there was so much ahead to discover. I was curious, interested, and intrigued.

I am a very visually oriented person with a particular passion for anatomy. From the very first time when I was in high school, and my friend brought her sister ‘Grant's Atlas of Anatomy, I felt it would be part of my upcoming future. My interest in art and interior design, too, made me see images from a different perspective. To me, the pursuit of radiology just fell into place. The determination and sacrifices that I presented to finish my four years of training in radiology at Jordan University Hospital embrace that passion; each aspect of radiology fascinated me. Everyday diagnostic challenges, however, are what I have enjoyed the most throughout my training. I also very much enjoyed the unique privilege of teaching the basic approach to different diagnostic modalities in radiology to fifth-year medical students and residents from other specialties. I soon realized how much easier it would have been for us in Iraq if we could have access to updated or even functioning imaging equipment, and how many lives we could have saved. In almost all cases, we were forced to work based on history and physical examination alone.

My journey has taught me valuable lessons. I had the chance to live in different places and to work in other domains with people from all over the world with different cultures and backgrounds. My experience as a finance manager with XXXX Security Company helped to enhance my English and communication skills significantly. Volunteering with Catholic Charities here in the USA has enabled me to understand better the needs of refugees from Iraq, Somalia, and Burma. Escorting refugees to their medical appointments was my first direct contact with the US medical system. Working with these refugees has also served to intensify and refine my passion for helping those who need me the most.

I now have four years of residency training and full-time experience in radiology which will help me to excel in a residency program and to make initial preparations for continuing my career in radiology here in America. Especially important to me was the I am confident that I have all the talents, endurance, initiative, abilities and selflessness needed to excel as a radiologist and I look forward to developing my skills further as part of your program

I thank you for consideration of my application.

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