My decision to study medicine stems from my enduring and deep-seated need to find out how the human body works and what happens during different disease processes. The ability of the medical profession to intervene in those disease processes to bring about improvements or even complete cures is inspirational. It has been my ambition for several years to pursue a career in medicine so that I can make this type of difference to people’s lives.
To make sure that medicine was right for me, I have obtained several work placements to gain experience of different facets of medicine. Two years ago I spent 3 weeks shadowing a local GP and helping in the surgery doing paperwork and helping patients who needed to fill in forms. I was also able to observe and assist with the practice nurse when she changed dressings, gave injections and gave smoking cessation advice. This gave me an insight into the everyday practice of medicine and underlined the need to listen to people and to realise that illness makes people highly vulnerable.
Another placement was at a large teaching hospital, where I shadowed a practice nurse in the oncology department. This gave me the chance to see patients being diagnosed using technology such as MRI, CT scanning and PET scanning. I met and talked with some of the patients, which was sometimes upsetting because they were obviously very ill and some of them were terminal. I saw the dedication of the staff in the unit, keeping cheerful and hiding their own emotional turmoil and this gave me a realistic impression of how hard that side of medicine will be. Rather than putting me off, it gave me renewed determination to follow my calling to become a doctor.
My people skills and communication skills are strong, which I think is of paramount importance in medicine. I work with disabled children at a local facility twice a week and this has enabled me to interact with them, their parents and their siblings. I have also worked in a local pharmacy as the desk receptionist and this has given me experience dealing with the general public, as well as an appreciation of the vast array of drugs that are used in modern medicine.
I am sure that I have the academic skills to study medicine and the emotional strength to carry me through my early clinical training. My GCSE results were the best in my school year and my A-level target grades, for Biology, Physics and Chemistry, are all A*. Studying medicine at university will be a great challenge but I am very much looking forward to being able to start this important stage of my life and to progressing towards becoming a qualified doctor.