I hope to be selected for a Fellowship position in Cardiology due to my full dedication to my medical specialty. Once, as I was finishing my shift on a Saturday night during my Cardiology residency, I was called to evaluate a patient with persistent hypotension. After eighteen hours, I was exhausted, but I took a deep breath and focused on performing a detailed history and physical exam. The patient had received his scheduled hemodialysis the day before, and blood pressure did not improve, even with intravenous fluids.
Nothing was especially notable in the physical exam except for distant heart sounds. The electrocardiogram showed low voltage criteria and atrial fibrillation, which he had already developed when admitted. The patient started anticoagulation for thromboembolic protection. I took out my handheld ultrasound device, and there it was: a dancing heart surrounded by fluid with a right ventricular diastolic collapse and a plethoric inferior vena cava. My own heart almost stopped! The anticoagulation was discontinued, and an emergency pericardiocentesis was soon performed. The cardiologist on call told me: “You must be exhausted. Go home, Juan!”. Without hesitation, I answered: “Are you kidding? I wouldn’t miss this for the world”.
This has been a typical experience during my years in my current residency position; staying late to avoid missing something after an 18-hour shift. I keenly want to stay and assist with whatever was going on, particularly anything unusual. As a Chief Resident in Cardiology, I supervise attending physicians who give their all to their patients and our medical specialty. I still stay late in my position, more frequently than not, because I eat, sleep, and breathe Cardiology.
I encourage the residents I supervise to stay fully abreast of all developments in our field by reading the literature assiduously and questioning what they ‘know.’ I currently assume a leadership role in research at our hospital that aims to improve our protocols for influenza vaccination, decreasing the risk of cardiovascular events. I have also been chosen to be my class representative throughout my residency. I am heavily engaged with our project to improve our quality of care and simultaneously reduce disparities, promoting a humanistic approach to medicine.
A distinguished cardiologist must be exceptionally compassionate, as it concerns their patients and the broader community. As an undergraduate, I frequently helped the homeless, performing wound debridement and helping to provide them with food, water, and clothes. In medical school, I helped to place water-resistant awnings on homes damaged by Hurricane Maria. Bilingual in Spanish/English, during the COVID-19 pandemic, I helped to staff vaccination clinics that immunized over two thousand Puerto Ricans.
Helping the disadvantaged has always been integral to becoming a doctor. I hope to be selected to participate in a Cardiology program with vast clinical exposure, a comprehensive didactic curriculum, and opportunities to get involved in clinical research. Passionate about learning, a hard worker, and a leader among my peers, I am always keen to help those in need. I look forward to learning from attending physicians and mentors who will encourage, motivate, and guide me throughout my fellowship training.
Thank you for considering my application to your fellowship program in Cardiology.