Being accepted to medical school here in the USA will be something that is beyond the wildest dreams of someone like me. An African woman born and raised in Ghana, higher education was simply not a reasonable expectation in my country of origin, especially for girls who wanted to become doctors. Thus, my acceptance to medical school in the USA as an African woman raised in Ghana until the age of 15, represents a triumph for women in Ghana as well as black women generally speaking. I look forward to contributing to the underrepresentation of black doctors in practice – men as well as women – in America, especially those born in Africa. In addition to serving as a member of the choir, I also lead religious services at my church with frequency, which has heightened my confidence and inspired me to think creatively about leadership roles in medicine.
Now 25, I have spent the last 10 years in XXXX, Virginia, my new home in the USA. Despite having become African-American in many ways, my soul will always be African and this is especially true in terms of my profession, vocation, calling in life: medicine. I have completed my undergraduate studies in Biology and I have distinguished myself through my volunteer work.
I faced many challengers as an African girl seeking an advanced education in the physical sciences – especially my father. He has never seen any value in the higher education of women and refused to spend anything at all on my education. I worked to support myself all through my undergraduate studies at the same time that I also participated in many medical related activities as a student. I sustained my own struggle to prepare for entrance to medical school for 4 years – despite inadequate sleep.
My journey towards medicine began while still a child, when my aunt suffered a terrible accident that left her crippled, having fallen from a tall building and landed on her knees. After doctors told her she was never going to be able to use her lower body again, she had to relocate to our house so that she could have access to the best doctors and proper care by our extended family. During this time I lived with my aunt, my mother’s sister and her family, and I thought of her much in the same way as my own mother. In fact, I not only shared a room but also a bed with my aunty throughout this ordeal; hence its intensity for two years - while I was 10 to 12. She died believing that she had already survived her accident a long time because of the care that I gave her; she would say I gave her hope each day to live. She taught me that strength comes from within and that love and compassion can save. Before she died coughing up blood, she had learned how to walk again and frequently went to the toilet on her own.
While my aunt lived with us, I helped her bathe, go the bathroom, fed her, dressed her, checked her pulse, gave her medicine, etc. I loved caring for her and being her personal doctor as my family would say. The greatest thing was that I became her friend; I showed her that she mattered and that she was loved. The experience of my aunt taught me to have a positive outlook on life and I have become a fervent believer in the power of hope. Shortly after being accepted to XXXX University, my boyfriend was diagnosed with hydrocephalus, brain damage due to fluid buildup; this experience also made me stronger and strengthened my belief that healing starts in the mind.
I know how far a little compassion and warmth can go and I want to live my life knowing that I am helping others to live each day. I believe becoming the best medical doctor requires not only knowledge of the body but also proper care through compassion and kindness. I am convinced that I will be a great physician on the basis of my experiences thus far.
Most precisely, I hope to become a world class OBGYN because my greatest desire is to devote my life to the care of women and their babies at the most vulnerable moment in time for both of them, precisely the time that so many preventable deaths occur in Africa, for mother and child alike. I want to practice and struggle on two continents, helping to reduce infant and mother mortality rates in Africa, in particular, where they remain alarmingly high, in Ghana as elsewhere.
I served as a volunteer Nurse Assistant in a hospital for 2 months, caring for the elderly, and also served as a youth leader and mentor of children, teaching kids and helping them with their school work. One special professional highlight for me which exemplifies the diversity of my interest was my semester spent working on GIS technology at the XXXX Museum.
With my sights set on Women’s Health and Reproduction, I intend to distinguish myself in your program as a student who becomes especially knowledgeable about ovarian, cervical, and other cancers that are specifically related to women and reproduction. My aunty believed that my soul purpose on earth was to take care of the sick and that is true. In fact, I want to treasure life to its fullest each day, bring new life into being, save the lives of new born babies that I hear crying in my hands. That is life.
I thank you for considering my application to medical school.