Being accepted to medical school here in the USA will be beyond the wildest dreams of someone like me. As an African woman born and raised in Ghana, higher education was 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 and black women. I look forward to contributing to the underrepresentation of black doctors in practice – men and women – in America, especially those born in Africa. In addition to serving as a choir member, I also frequently lead religious services at my church, which has heightened my confidence and inspired me to think creatively about leadership roles in medicine.
Now 25, I have spent the last ten 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, and calling in life: medicine. I have completed my undergraduate studies in Biology and distinguished myself through my volunteer work.
I faced many challenges as an African girl seeking 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 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 struggle to prepare for entrance to medical school for four years – despite inadequate sleep.
My journey toward 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 would never be able to use her lower body again, she had to relocate to our house to have access to the best doctors and proper care from our extended family. During this time, I lived with my aunt, my mother’s sister, and her family, and I thought of her much like my mother. I shared not only a room but also a bed with my aunty throughout this ordeal, hence its intensity for two years - while I was 10 to 12. My aunty died believing she had already survived her accident a long time because of my care. 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 prolong life. Before she died coughing up blood, she had learned how to walk again and frequently went to the toilet independently.
I helped her bathe, go to the bathroom, fed her, dressed her, checked her pulse, gave her medicine, etc. As my family would say, I loved caring for her and being her doctor. The greatest thing was that I became her friend; I showed her that she mattered and was loved. My aunt's experience taught me how to maintain a positive outlook on life in trying circumstances, 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 and brain damage due to fluid buildup; this experience also strengthened my belief that healing starts with 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. Becoming the best medical doctor requires knowledge of the body and proper care through compassion and kindness. I am convinced I will be a great physician based on 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 reduce infant and mother mortality rates in Ghana and elsewhere in Africa.
I volunteered as a Nurse Assistant in a hospital for two months, caring for the elderly, and serving as a youth leader and mentor of children, helping them with their school work. One particular professional highlight for me was my semester 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 exceptionally knowledgeable about ovarian, cervical, and other cancers related explicitly to women and reproduction. My aunty believed that my sole purpose on earth was to take care of the sick, and that is true. I want to treasure life to its most total every day, bring new life into being, and save the lives of newborn babies that I hear crying in my hands. That is life.
I thank you for considering my application to medical school.