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Sample Personal Statement, Residency in Ob/Gyn, Indian Applicant, Hospital in Kenya

I hope very much to be selected for a residency position in Obstetrics and Gynecology at Aga Khan University Hospital, in Nairobi, Kenya. I feel strongly that I am qualified and look forward to being chosen on the basis of being a very hard worker always of good cheer, dedicated, I persevere in the face of obstacles. I am looking forward to long hours on my feet, giving my all to Ob/Gyn at XXXX.

While still a student in medical school, it was my rotations in Ob/Gyn that brought me the greatest sense of joy and fulfillment. The sheer thrill of being part of new life on a daily basis energizing my and incites my passion more than any other area of medicine. This is why I chose to focus on Ob/Gyn for my internship experience as well. I excelled as a medical student in this area of in particular, receiving nearly perfect scores because we tend to excel at what we love the most, the area in which are heart is most fully invested.

Now 27, I am an Indian woman, part of the Indian Diaspora in Africa, raised and educated in Kenya. I speak, read, and write Gujarati and Hindi in addition to English and Kiswahili. I am also at an intermediate level in French. I earned my medical degree in Kenya and subsequently completed my internship at a major hospital, attending to patients in a broad variety of areas. I spent 3 months practicing in Ob/Gyn as an intern at Mbagathi District Hospital. Since April of this year, I have been working under Dr XXXX (OBGYN) and each day I learn more and more about Ob/Gyn. I get to manage outpatients in the clinic, inpatients at Aga Khan University Hospital and go to theatre. I have learned a great deal, in particular, about laparoscopic surgery working alongside Dr. XXXX in this area.

Ever since I can remember I wanted to be a doctor. The biggest influence has been my father who is a physician. I was always fascinated by how he would 'miraculously fix' people. I looked up to him and his ability and knew early on that I wanted to follow in his footsteps. During high school, I excelled in the sciences and that made my decision even easier. Serving as a member of the St. John Ambulance Corp in high school also augmented my passion for medicine, teaching me precision and discipline, determination and perseverance. Medical school gave me the necessary foundation upon which to continue to grow and blossom. My internship provided me with much needed experience, refining my clinical skills and knowledge and helping me to learn to think on my feet in a very fast-paced environment. I am currently serving as a junior doctor at the leading cosmetic dermatology center in Nairobi.

Some of the most difficult and intriguing cases that I have dealt with so far include Stevens-Johnson Syndrome (SJS) caused by antiretrovirals (ARVs) for treatment of HIV. Another patient suffered from Kaposi's Sarcoma which is also HIV related. This patient could not afford to go to a specialist or to the national referral hospital. So, under the supervision of my mentor, I did my first skin biopsy to confirm the diagnosis and we started the patient on chemotherapy, to which he responded well. I have learned a great deal from the patients that I have treated, a teenage boy with acne conglobata (severe form of acne), for example, who was bullied in school and suffered from very low self-esteem and depression. We started him on oral Isotretinion (Accutane) and he responded very well. He was a whole new person the next time I saw him - smiling. Another salient example is a patient with severe acne scars and very self-conscious about it. She always used make-up to cover it up and it had a negative effect on her relationships. A couple of laser treatments later she was happier than ever. 

Perhaps the most delicate case of all, however, and the patient that most frequently crosses my mind, is the young lady with self-inflicted cuts on her arms and legs which had left her with horrible scars. As I provided her with effective laser treatments or her scars, I reflected upon the way in which I seek to treat the total woman and mother, helping her to achieve optimal health, heal her scars, embrace new life and to hold it in one’s hands.

When I am not practicing medicine I enjoy travel, swimming, and music in addition to reading.

I thank you for your consideration of my application.

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The Humanitarian Side of Obstetrics and Gynecology

Hungry to go out into the world with as a qualified obstetrics and gynecology specialist and help people in need. There are a lot of ways to get involved! Let´s have a look at a few here.

International Women´s Health Program lists off a number of organizations that are recruiting health care professionals like you with ob/gyn experience. If you want to join a less well-known organization, here is another great list of organizations, many of which need ob-gyn specialists.

Let´s explore some of these organizations, which you could use to further your humanitarian work experience.

Doctors Without Borders

Famous as this organization is, they are short on obstetricians and gynecologists to conduct antenatal consultations, assist deliveries (including C sections), provide prevention of mother-to-child transmission treatment to HIV-positive pregnant women, and care for patients suffering from sexual violence-related injury. Some programs also offer specialist obstetric repair surgery for women with vaginal fistula.

The work could involve diagnosing and treating medical conditions that you don´t normally find in the United States, performing both emergency and planned ob-gyn surgeries, managing obstetric complications and post-operative follow-up, training and supporting surgical and midwifery staff and learning cross-cultural issues surrounding childbirth. Here´s more information on how to get involved a couple of years after your residency program.

Veronica Ades, MD, is an ob-gyn in New York City. When she went on a month-long trip to South Sudan, she had to perform some difficult procedures and diagnose conditions she´d never encountered before. Here´s a video about her experience.

Project HOPE

Project HOPE helped more than 11,000 patients in the first few weeks of a medical humanitarian mission in Peru in 2012. The team included an OB/GYN specialist, as well other doctors and medical professionals. The 2012 mission was the first in collaboration with the U.S. military´s 12th Air Force out of Southern Command. Here´s more about their adventure and the work they were able to do.

Gynecologie Sans Frontieres

Yes, this organization recruits ob-gyn specialists exclusively: doctor and midwives who want to help out on one of their missions at refugee camps in France, doing training and education, development and emergency or disaster.

They also provide training in the specific area of humanitarian obstetrics gynecology.

Salaam Cultural Museum

This cultural museum conducts week-long medical missions at the border of Greece and Macedonia, and are currently looking for ob-gyn specialists. If you´re an Arabic speaker, all the better. Check out this page for dates and more information

Medical Teams International

Medical teaching professionals with a specialization in OB-GYN are needed to provide training to local staff that treat refugee and local marginal families in Uganda, and to provide support to MTI´s Liberia staff in Liberia. That´s just in Summer, 2016. Check out their website for more information.

Hadassah International

Hadassah International unites people of all faiths and nationalities in their mission to improve lives around the globe. Through the financial support of the pioneering medical healing, teaching, and research at the Hadassah Medical Organization in Jerusalem, they are able to span five continents.

The organization is made up of volunteers who believe that advancement and cooperation in medicine transcend politics, religion and national boundaries. Hadassah International also helps to establish research and clinical ventures between Hadassah and medical institutions around the world. Dr. Karen Friedman helps women with fertility issues, and recently gave a talk in Israel. Her work is specifically focused in the area of psychological wellbeing and fertility. Read about her here.

Ready to get started? We know you´re going to become an inspiring ob-gyn doctor, and do good work in the world, and we want to support you. Let us know if we can help you with your personal statement, if you´re applying to do an ob-gyn residency. We´d be delighted to serve you.

The OB/GYN Residency Program at Mount Sinai Medical School