I hold a degree in Electrical Engineering and, during my studies, became involved in work related to medical imaging, which was fascinating, and I saw it as a potential career path. I also began reading a lot of medically related research published internationally during this time. However, I realized I saw a minimal ‘picture’ of the patients. I became more interested in the people behind the images than the images themselves, I wanted to know more, and an unexpected vocation for medicine was the result.
Many of the skills required of a sound engineer are also those called for in medicine; an analytical approach to problems, curiosity, determination, and skill to accurately diagnose the causes of pain and establish relationships between unrelated data. An engineering career does not offer substantial interaction with others nor the opportunity to help them directly. I do not regret my engineering study and have found this background especially useful in my study of medicine.
I have carefully considered the area of work that will set me on the most satisfying career path and enable me to be most beneficial to the community. Family Medicine is the specialty that meets both requirements. I am attracted by the variety of patients and conditions I shall see and look forward to exercising my analytical and diagnostic skills. Family Medicine will provide the constant patient contact that I seek. I know that family medicine calls for an exceedingly high order of interpersonal and communication skills and I possess them. I am particularly sensitive to the significance of non-verbal ‘signals’ and the need for a physician to be sensitive to them and to respond appropriately.
Family Medicine will be increasingly affected by the aging population and the increasing proportion of the elderly among patients. Amongst several volunteer activities in which I have been involved, I served as a coordinator of recreational events at a nursing home. I enjoy the company of older people and come from a culture where the aged are cherished and afforded profound respect. The ‘aging phenomenon’ will call for new thinking and initiatives to encourage and enable the elderly to lead lives as independent and fulfilling as possible. I would hope to be able to assist in research into the challenges that aging presents to the elderly themselves, the community, and society in general.
When living in Iran, I was involved in volunteer emergency work during two severe earthquakes. This experience was both extraordinarily moving and educational. I saw how doctors and others react in extreme situations. I am also among the founders of the 'Women's Action Network, an organization that assists women from developing nations. This experience has enhanced my communication, leadership, and organizational skills.
I have seen many doctors at work during my MD program and volunteer activities. These have ranged from the merely competent to the excellent. I conclude that the physician’s attitude to their patients separates the extraordinary from the rest. Exceptional physicians quickly establish a relationship based on trust and confidence and involve the patients as far as possible in their treatment. Excellent physicians care about their patients rather than merely caring for them. Exceptional physicians treat every patient as an individual, worthy of their respect and not as a mere ‘bundle of symptoms.’ I am determined to be an excellent family physician. I need to ‘make a living,’ but more importantly, I want to make a difference in people’s lives.
I am fully aware of the need for cultural sensitivity in health care provision. I have lived in Iran, Canada, and the United States and know what it is to adjust to a new and unfamiliar culture. I speak Farsi as well as English and some German. I have happily studied and worked with people of many cultural and social backgrounds and enjoy doing so. I consider myself to be exceptionally culturally aware and sensitive.
My academic ability, characteristics, interests, background, and attitude make me an excellent candidate for the residency program. I look forward to beginning my career and making a positive difference in people’s lives.
Family Medicine Residency Personal Statement