Medical Personal Statement
Smelling burning flesh during surgery, and watching a young six year old boy die of Dengue fever was the time when the harsh reality of medicine struck me; and yet my passion for medicine is forever growing.
Enrolling on a fourteen day hospital placement in the heart of the Caribbean in St. Lucia is the highlight amongst my various other placements and work experience. Being sent to an LEDC country to explore and take part in that niche of medicine fuelled my desire to become a doctor. Whilst there, I was placed on a 9 to 5 job at the Victoria Hospital, General Surgery wards, whereby more was required of me, than to just shadow a doctor. I received basic clinical training, such as injecting cannulas, taking blood, checking heart rate and blood pressure and doing stitches.
Being in theatre I was given the liberty to assist surgeons and work together with nurses to ensure the success of surgery. However, having a mind that needed moulding, following a doctor, I was ever more keen to learn and imitate the characteristics and communication skills a strong doctor required. That was put to the test when I gained the trust of doctors who would send me to provide them a medical briefing of patients, asking the patient about their medical conditions, medical history, symptoms and past medications. With this information I would use my knowledge to suggest and discuss with the doctor probable causes, diagnostics and plan of action.
Doing this repeatedly every day not only built up my knowledge but also enhanced my communication skills and professional behaviour as I learnt that medicine taps into a personal agenda whereby gaining the patients trust and communicating medical jargon into an understandable language, was key.My time in St. Lucia at the local hospital exposed me to the dour reality of medicine and that not everyone can be cured. It also proved to me that being a doctor isn’t as glamorous as the hospital dramas make it out to be. However it is the reward of seeing that one person recover that outweighs any doubts or scepticism one could have.
It is the thought of those moments that during my time, made me come in to work and that made me stay that couple of hours extra to see a patient through. It was the hope of recovery that motivated me to do a 24 hour shift and stay overnight reading Charles Dickens to that 6 year old boy in intensive care.Returning back to England, back to my twice a week voluntary work at my local hospital, which I have volunteered for for a year; it was only then that I was able to make the vast differences in the hospital environment. What I once thought were necessities, such as having an MRI scanner in the hospital, soon made me see them as privileges.The voluntary work in then A;E department, has been the of my hospital work experience.
This is where I gained the foundations of working in a hospital environment. At the end of the week, I would volunteer on Fridays after school until midnight. This commitment of mine simply came from the fact that I thoroughly enjoyed it. At A;E I was able to increase my threshold to shocking gory cases, as seeing stab wounds and broken limbs became the norm.
Being a volunteer I was able to interact with patients and simply just be there to assist anyone. I would also be able to follow doctors on rare occasions, to assist and observe them at work.On completing 100 hours of voluntary work at the hospital, I was offered a paid part time job as a health care assistant in A;E. Here I was able to enhance my team work skills as being in a busy environment, clear communication and having a close-knit working body between me and my colleagues was vital. This was put into practice whenever two or more of us were asked to help a patient with a disability, get dress and gently mobilise them to comfort.
The job required me to take a bigger role in A;E in comparison to being a volunteer as I was relied on to do the fundamental tasks of cleaning a patient or perhaps prepare a ward and bed for a cardiac arrest that was about to come in. Having a larger responsibility on me, I was able to manage well under pressure when asked to do a task quickly. Thinking things through, having a plan and keeping calm where the main elements I adopted.Stretching outside the hospital environment, I Also volunteered for 6 weeks at a local kids club for disadvantaged children. Here, I worked with children between the ages of 5 to 15, all of which had a mental or physical disability.
Communicating with children who themselves had difficulty speaking meant that body language spoke louder than words. This taught me a new approach of communicating as I had to figure out gestures and noises to understand what the child was trying to indicate and myself try and communicate words and feelings in the form of gestures and actions.My school was entered into a nationwide completion held by the BBC, which derived from the BBC program, Question Time. The school was challenged to host its own school Question Time.
Having an innate interest in politics from a young age, it was only natural that I ended up being in the leading team that co-ordinated the school. Working in lesion with pupils on my team a was set the task of communicating with every part of the school, such as care takers, students, teachers, office staff, dinner staff and security staff to retrieve what political interests they had and to involved them in the school question time. I also had the chance to take several year 7-10 PHSE classes, whereby I fuelled their political sparks by devising debate games about current issues and teaching them about the political system. The day of our school question time, we had a panel of strong political figures such as Paul Nuttle and Ester McVeigh, and the hour debate about current affairs and issues was judged by two BBC representatives. The great success of our work paid off; the school won out of the whole nation and was granted the chance to an exclusive behind the scenes opportunity at the Question Time set in London and worked with BBC producers to coordinate the program and suggest who would be on the panel.
Academically, i have enhanced my ability to do outside independent study. I enrolled on the Open University YASS course, where I chose to study Medicine, molecules and Drugs which fitted in perfectly with my great interest and admiration for bio-chemistry. It challenged my capability to follow a syllabus outside of my a-levels, working through the various books and a molecules kit (not sure what else I should write here)My other academic attributes include me completing an Extended Project which works towards my AQA baccalaureate. This project required that I write a 5000 word essay on a chosen topic I would investigate and look into.
This challenged my independent study further as the topic of choice had to be outside the domains of my A- levels, so I was unable to rely on teachers for help. Instead I confided in university library where I would spend a fair share of my time looking through various books to pick out information to write my project. Also I expanded my use of resources from books, Internet, to television documentaries and newspaper articles.My outer school academic achievements reach into the realms of my hobbies. Recently subscribing to a science magazine, BBC Focus, which I am a regular reader of, I have possessed a habit of writing scientific articles to the magazine about recent wonderful scientific discoveries.
My latest entry and fascination was about a new “invisible” material, called Metaflex, which is able to manipulate rays of light that could theoretically appear invisible to the naked eye.