Residency IM & Dermatology, Philippines

I am a Philippine woman who is now 34 and my family and I have just been granted permanent residency in the United States. I graduated from a medical school in the Philippines in March of 2002 and then fulfilled a one-year internship. For the past several years, I have lived and worked on the island of Guam as a case manager and medical utilization reviewer for a PPO, StayWell Guam.

I gave birth to my daughter in December of 2003. While still pregnant, I began preparing for the USMLE. In May of 2004, however, I learned that I had performed miserably on Step 1 and my determination kicked into high gear, picking myself up and passing Step 1 the following October. I learned a great deal taking care of my little girl since she was ill almost constantly throughout the first two years of her life. By January of 2005, however, I was able to accept a full time management position with StayWell Manila, going on to transfer to StayWell Guam in 2008. Even back in the Philippines, most of our patients and professionals were from Guam; thus, I have spoken almost entirely English on the job for the past 7 years.

At only 34, I feel strongly that I still have a full life to give to the practice of medicine and that the professional experiences that I have over the course of the last few years have made me a better doctor, primarily through intensive and prolonged interaction with countless medical specialists in a large variety of disciplines, laboring to resolve issues with respect of cases that are frequently quite complex. My professional position has also resulted in my husband and I, along with our little girl, betting our permanent residency in the USA.

My quest to practice medicine in the United States received a boost by the review classes that I was able to take in Florida and this helped me to pass my Step 2 CS on my first attempt. Later that year, I was informed by my company that they had started to work on my petition for permanent residency. In May 2012, my family and I finally received our green cards. 

My position with StayWell Guam has helped me to stay up-to-date in medicine as well as greatly enhancing my English skills. This is reflected in my personal and professional triumph in July of 2011 when I received my ECFMG certification. My service as a medical utilization reviewer has given me a chance to observe the practice patterns of numerous physicians and I have also done extensive volunteer work at the only hospital on the island of Guam, assisting physician house staff during their rounds. I want very much to devote my life to providing compassionate and excellent medical care to my community. I am personally convinced that the best way for us to go about improving health care, generally speaking, is to make it as cost effective as possible. Thus, I am especially interested in becoming a part of a program that shares my enthusiasm for the implementation of cost-cutting measures that do not have a negative impact on patient care. I look forward to spending long hours giving my all to the goals of your medical team and I am convinced that my vast experience in the management of cases will help me to excel in your program, making my maximum contribution.

I take great pride in my ability to listen to and empathize with patients. My first passion is patient education, teaching them how to cultivate a healthy lifestyle. Much of my energy will always be directed to staying up-to-date in medicine, especially my area, the frontier between internal medicine and dermatology. I have my hopes set on practicing medicine as an internist at the same time that I increase my competence in the area of dermatology, laying a foundation for further specialization in this area. It was during a clerkship rotation when I realized that I had an especially profound desire to learn as much as I could about dermatology, particularly the areas where this field overlaps with internal medicine. I feel that I have a lot to bring to your program as a multicultural woman with diverse interests.

My experiences practicing medicine and later managing practitioners not only in the Philippines but also Guam has left me highly sensitive to the way in which questions of economic development and the lack thereof play out in the practice of medicine. I feel strongly that adequate healthcare should be made available to everyone irrespective of their economic circumstances and it troubles me the way in which this is simply not the case, not only on Guam where I have come to love the people dearly, but especially in my native Philippines.

My long term goal, therefore, after spending many years practicing medicine in the mainland USA, is to return to Guam and/or the Philippines at some point in my life and teach medicine at the same time that I give my all to researching and improving ways in which their organization of healthcare can be made more efficient with the resources at hand. Thus, my immediate goal is to continue to fully immerse myself in medicine in the USA and learn as much as I can about how medicine is practiced in the state-of-the-art context of North America in a program such as yours, thereby fulfilling my goal of becoming the most talented physician possible. I thank you so very much for considering my application to your distinguished program.

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