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Bilingual EMT to Medical School, Shadowing in a Rural Mexican Village

Updated: Jun 13


I want very much to attend the XXXX Medical School at XXXX University because I have always imagined that I would have the privilege of spending my working life as a medical doctor, saving lives, curing ailments, alleviating pain, and contributing to making life better for everyone with whom I engage professionally. In my experience working as a paramedic, I have had the experience of pulling the sheet over the victim's head. The first time I did this, I began to tremble. I had learned my first great lesson of medicine: that for all its power, it cannot always prevail. I had experienced what is perhaps the most disheartening and demoralizing aspect of the practice of medicine and faced it head-on. I have also demonstrated that I know how to cope with life and death emergencies confidently, a confidence instilled in me primarily by my certification as an Emergency Medical Technician. I now can take charge of a desperate situation and help someone in critical need, and my experience as an EMT has reinforced my decision to pursue medicine as a career.


Of course, healing, curing, and saving lives is more rewarding than trying and failing. As an EMT, I have been exposed to the satisfying aspects of medicine in a setting very new to me, urban treatment. I spent most of one summer riding with an ambulance team in Houston. Almost every call we received dealt with Latino patients speaking only Spanish or very little broken English. And I suddenly realized the critical importance of understanding a foreign culture and language in the practice of medicine, mainly when serving under-served, minority populations. In transporting patients from the field to the hospital, I became aware of this community's reduced access to medical care due to a lack of physicians to communicate with and understand their patients. I decided, therefore, to minor in Spanish. Having almost completed my minor, I have expanded my academic horizons and gained a new sense of cultural awareness that I feel is indispensable in today's diverse society.


Throughout my undergraduate years at XXXX, I have combined my scientific interests in medicine with my passion for Hispanic culture and language. During my sophomore year, I volunteered at a medical clinic in the rural town of XXXX, Mexico. For one month, I shadowed a doctor in the clinic and was concurrently enrolled in classes for medical Spanish. In XXXX, I witnessed medicine being practiced as I imagined it should be: seeing the doctor treat his patients with skill and compassion, as fellow human beings, rather than simply diseases to be outsmarted. I realized he was genuinely helping the people of XXXX in a manner unique to the practice of medicine.


Fascinated by my exposure to this very hands-on approach to clinical medicine, I was thrilled to see medicine making a difference in people's lives. The disciplines of Spanish and science have become inseparable, and I plan to pursue a career in urban medicine that allows me to integrate the two. Later, I intend to practice somewhere in California with a large Hispanic population.


I see medicine as a multi-faceted profession. I have witnessed its healing power, especially in rural Chacala, and I have seen its weaknesses and limitations, facing death as an EMT. Inspired, in particular, by the Latino community of Houston, I realize the benefits of seeing medicine from a holistic, culturally sensitive perspective.


I want to thank you for consideration of my application to medical school.


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