Residency Emergency Medicine, Trauma, Mexican

My life experience has uniquely prepared me for a residency in emergency medicine. I was born in Baton Rouge Louisiana in 1957. My father was a plumber and my mother was a Mexican immigrant who left school in third grade. My parents had great hopes for me; my mom encouraged me to go to college and my father would read books about science, such as The Origin of the Species, with me. But there was a secret at home. My mother, my siblings and I were victims of domestic abuse. Although I dreamed of being a doctor, my aspirations were limited by my chaotic home environment and by my parents' impoverishment. And so at the age of eighteen, I married and left home.

As the wife of a successful businessman I relished raising my two sons. Outwardly life was idyllic. My greatest desire was to go to college, but my husband was opposed. Against his wishes, I took two classes a semester for nine years. Eventually I finished my bachelors degree in interior design, a field he found acceptable. But I was still interested in science. When my children would go to the doctor, I would come home and read about their illnesses. Attracted by the excitement and variety of emergency medicine, I eventually started volunteering in a level one trauma center. I soon became a weekend night regular at the emergency department, helping and learning when I could. Finally in 1994, 1 left my children with their father and stepmother, and entered medical school. It was the most difficult choice I have ever made.

Emergency medicine has been a natural choice for me. It provides the intellectual challenge of diversity and change while requiring poise under pressure. In particular it demands concentration to deal with acute disease processes. Motherhood gives you nerves of steel. It has taught me to think quickly and remain focused under stressful conditions. It has also taught me patience and diligence, conditions of parenthood. As a working mom who was also studying pre-medicine, I developed tremendous mental and physical stamina. I learned to manage and execute multiple tasks, a skill that would be an asset in any busy emergency room. At the same time, because of my early life experiences, I do not shy away from the many complex social issues that confront the emergency physician. I will never forget the sacred trust I hold with my patients, especially those who feel powerless and who turn to the medical professionals for help. To fulfill these social convictions, I have sought further training in recognizing and treating domestic abuse; I participated in two workshops offered by Physicians for Social Responsibility addressing this topic. In addition, I was awarded a National Medical Fellowships Substance Abuse Treatment and Research Fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania as a third year medical student.

After residency, I would like to practice emergency medicine in an urban medical center. Ultimately my goal is to be the best clinician possible, while serving in an academic setting. There is an enthusiasm in the teaching environment that energizes me; I would like to pass that excitement along to those that follow me. In addition, teaching requires one to broaden their knowledge base and procedural skills. Most importantly, I would also like to educate students of medicine towards issues of domestic and substance abuse, especially as it impacts the in the emergency department setting. Completing four years of medical school has been the fulfillment of a dream for me. It is through emergency medicine that I feel that I can serve best. Thank you for your consideration.

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