I appreciate very much the global solidarity that characterizes the field of medicine and the way in which the medical profession realizes its responsibility to help those who would not otherwise receive any medical attention at all.
After completing medical school, I plan to seek further training in general or orthopedic surgery, always striving for perfection and dedicating as much time and resources to providing medical attention to the most desperately underserved - not only within the borders of the United States but also in other countries. I look forward to another century or so of global missionary service as a surgeon – especially in the wake of natural disasters throughout the hemisphere.
I will be earning my BS in Biochemistry this coming December 2017. I have already gone on two medical missions, the first to Peru and the second to Guatemala, having the profound privilege of being able to better understand the challenges faced by marginalized people in the Global South. It was a special privilege and honor to give vaccinations to children and the elderly – knowing full well that it might save their lives in the future.
In Guatemala, I participated in a large mission that was able to attend to scattered and remote populations in several different regions of the country; thus, I was able to see and get to know areas of the country where doctors and medical supplies were incredibly scarce. I spent the first three days attending to children in schools and distributing medical supplies. After that, I helped to attend to the elderly and pregnant women with various complications for which they were being treated. Many of these patients had simple infections, which were easy to treat successfully, but they had not yet been able to do so because they had no access to the medication they needed until we arrived. Watching the smiles on the patients’ faces was among the finest moments of my life. The appreciation that was shown to our team was almost overwhelming at times.
I carefully observed the doctors that I assisted on both of my mission trips, and they have become my foremost role models, my heroes. This is what I want to do as well, as much as possible, going on as many mission trips and putting smiles on patients’ faces as my professional responsibilities as a surgeon in my home community will allow. The doctors that I shadowed and assisted in Peru and Guatemala were there because they felt called, based on the simple fact that they had the expertise that these people needed. I too feel this calling and knowing that one day I may have the privilege of serving as a missionary doctor in developing countries is one of the primary driving forces of my sky-high motivation to attend and complete medical school.
The other major highlight of my career so far has been my volunteer work with the Miami Project to Cure Paralysis where I spent one year and four amazing months as a volunteer assisting researchers with a wide range of tests, including hand and grip tests, thermosensitivity, the Catwalk, etc. I helped to generate valuable results that enabled these investigators to publish essential papers for the advancement of our ability to help those who have been paralyzed. Laboring and giving my all so that others might have a better chance to walk again was incredibly fulfilling and has me very animated to begin medical school. This position also helped to spark what I anticipate will be an exceptionally long and special engagement with neuroscience and its intimate relationship with the paralyzed learning to walk again.
I have also volunteered at XXXX Hospital, spent a lot of time helping to Feed the homeless, organized special activities for children with terminally ill diseases, Community Walk-a-thons to raise awareness about public health issues such as breast cancer, etc. I have served as President of the American Medical Student Association chapter at my university, UXX. This organization served as my foundation for organizing support and participation in our medical missions to Peru and Guatemala.
Working full-time throughout my time as a premedical student was necessary if I were to pay for rent and food since I had no financial help from my poor mother. Being independent allowed me to mature quickly and shaped me into the humble and honest man I am today. If I am to realize my dream of becoming a neurosurgeon, it will also be a result of the fact that I almost died myself at the age of 2 and my life was saved by neurosurgery, to which, of course, I am forever grateful. I suffered from a rare birth defect called craniosynostosis, which was initially misdiagnosed. After eight hours of surgery, I survived with just a scar on my head from ear to ear, which I will always bear with great honor.
Thank you for considering my application to medical school.