I hope to obtain a fellowship in endocrinology in the United States to acquire the knowledge and training necessary to help raise the standard of treatment and patient care in my native country, Saudi Arabia. My country of origin is renowned for its oil fields and for being the hub of religious pilgrimage for Muslims around the world during their holy month of Ramadan. What is not well known is that the population of Saudi Arabia is currently experiencing one of the highest rates of diabetes and other endocrine disorders in the world. According to a report by the World Health Organization, a staggering thirty percent of the population over the age of fifty—one out of three people—is afflicted with this modern-day scourge. We also have an unusually high prevalence of type 1 diabetes among children and adolescents. Obesity is an epidemic, especially among females.
Almost one out of ten cancer patients in Saudi suffers from a thyroid malignancy. The toll on humans suffering from endocrine disorders is immense. Although we have good medical schools and hospitals, we do not have the same elevated level of technological skills and medical awareness as the United States. I have a keen passion for managing diabetes; thus I would like to broaden my understanding and hone my professional skills in the general field of endocrinology.
I was born and raised in Riyadh, a relatively modern city, beset with scorching heat and nestled among the billowing desert dunes. Smiling camels still trot their way through the winding streets and colorful bazaars. My father is a retired agricultural expert who always has done his best to encourage me to pursue professional studies. During my adolescence, he developed type two diabetes. Although he is a great person, he found it challenging to comply with the strict dietary and medical regimen required to bring his disease under control. As a result, he, like many others in our country, has suffered from complications such as loss of vision and inflammation of his nervous system. Watching the debilitating effects of the disease on my father and other people I have known was a major motivating factor in my building a career in medicine. I want to spend my life making a significant difference in the quality of people’s lives.
During my four years of residency, I gained broad experience in different specialties. My most memorable experience was serving as a resident in ICU when I saw a thirty-year-old lady who was desperately ill from a non-malignant tumor in her pancreas. When I saw her a year later after being cared for by her endocrinologist, she was much better. She looked like a completely different person. This and similar positive experiences helped me to realize that endocrinology is the field to which I intend to devote my life. In my years of training and professional knowledge, most of the cases of diabetes and other endocrine disorders I saw were already quite advanced. Saudi Arabia still lacks an integrated collaborative system of public awareness/prevention/screening and proper follow-up.
If selected for your fellowship in endocrinology, I would apply myself to my utmost in caring for patients. I intend to learn the latest cutting-edge treatments for diabetes and other disorders, as well as the best methods of preventive care and how to increase public awareness in a society where endocrine disorders have reached epidemic proportions.