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Residency Pediatrics, Preventive Medicine, Indian

I follow the philosophy of Forest Witcraft concerning the value that I place on the lives and well-being of children. He declared that “the world may be a little better, because I was important in the life of a child."

From summer camp counselor to teenage youth director, I have always loved being around kids—shy, screaming, laughing, unreserved, honest kids. My first real experience with children’s health care was as a volunteer and then later as a director of a free, student-run clinic for sick children—crying, shouting, coughing, miserable, angry children. I loved it! There was purpose and challenge in trying to help the children in the clinic, just as when I helped children at our health camp. There was special joy and satisfaction in watching the transformation happen. The pediatric wards reinforced my feelings in real-time—Day 1: miserable child; Day 2: sleepy and shy; Day 3: laughing, screaming, and running down the hall.

I find preventive medicine to fit exceptionally well with pediatrics. From immunizations and nutrition to improving body image and social development, this type of comprehensive care is where I want to give my all. Unfortunately, not all outcomes in pediatrics are happy ones, and this concerns me a great deal.  I see childhood morbidity and mortality as among the world’s most unfair and inexplicable tragedies. On the hematology-oncology ward, I quickly learned that it takes more than a clown suit and squeaky toy to build trust and rapport with young patients—truthfulness, a listening heart, and lots of little visits slowly establish a therapeutic relationship.  I discovered that comforting grieving parents and frightened young people is something I do well and find most fulfilling.

In medicine, our best educators are those we care for. As a new physician, I will continue to learn from my experience in caring for patients. Earnest and unrelenting in my study and use of evidence-based medicine, I could not believe more firmly that every patient deserves the best application of my intelligence and the collection of knowledge gained from those who have come before us.

Working at UXX’s Center for Development and Learning, I saw how helping children and adolescents with behavioral and interactional problems could be one of the most significant challenges and joys of general pediatrics. For many of the children we saw, child-focused therapies, though usually adequate, had failed, and my mentor’s watchword of “your family is your greatest resource” rang true. I learned that sometimes the best way to help children is to help the family, the most central and enduring influence on their lives.  As a child advocate, the pediatrician’s domain should be the family context.

One of my greatest heroes is Dr. XXXX, the oldest-known practicing physician in the United States.  Her charge to me was, “As a future doctor, people will trust you. Take time to find out what’s making them sick and teach them how to stay well.  Never let the money of medicine or your own worn-out spirit turn them away. You can turn their world around.” Today’s children will be tomorrow’s adults, and pediatricians have been given the sacred responsibility of impacting the outcome with early medical intervention and primary prevention. Along with Witcraft, I sincerely believe the “world may be a little better” by my being “important in the life of a child.” I am looking for a program that will assist me in becoming a confident, proficient, and caring community pediatrician. In return, I promise to invest myself completely and wholeheartedly in my program and my patients.

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