I am a 32-year-old doctor from Saudi Arabia now living in New Jersey. I come from a large family and have five siblings who are all successful in a variety of areas including healthcare. fields. Our parents were particularly ambitious for me as I was regarded as the brightest in the family. My father hoped that I would become a physician. Unfortunately, my father died before I entered medical school, and this is still a source of great sadness.
My father ran a successful business and involved me in his business from the age of thirteen. I was eventually given responsibility for supervising workers of various nationalities early. I would take my books to the workplace to study when the opportunity arose. This background was a character-building experience and gave me some beneficial skills such as effective planning, supervising, and relating well with people from various cultural backgrounds. I was involved in the business until starting my residency program. The skills and experience I gained in this way have been of enormous benefit to me in my career to date.
I began my medical education with difficulty since the curriculum was exclusively in English. I was also the first in my family to study medicine and so did not have the comfort of experienced practitioners able to help me with my studies. I overcame these disadvantages by working long hours and applying a determined approach to my studies.
After graduation from medical school, I was determined to be a general surgeon. I saw this specialization as requiring the characteristics and skills in which I most excelled; the ability to deal with stressful and demanding situations, to think quickly and decisively, and to provide good team leadership. The potential to save and enhance the quality of life in the operating theatre has always appealed to me enormously.
I joined a five-year residency program at Riyadh Military Hospital. The hospital is the largest in the country, having 1,500 beds. This was a first-class environment to gain substantial experience in a brief time. I was extraordinarily successful professionally during my time there and formed some deep friendships. I was chosen as a resident of the year in 2007, with the highest marks in many oral and written examinations. I completed the MRCS ENG (three parts) before I had finished my third year. I was also one of only seven people of ninety-one who passed the clinical exam on the first attempt, and in the final Saudi board written exam, I was awarded the highest mark in the country.
During my residency, I enjoyed good relationships with all my colleagues. Several asked for me to be included with them on work rotations, and several invited me to choose their specialty so that we would work together in the future. As a senior resident, I was elected to represent all resident staff.
I loved the whole sub-specialty of general surgery but was keen to help the most considerable number of patients, especially in an area with a shortage of expertise. I chose surgical oncology, focusing on breast oncology, to meet these criteria, since breast cancer is increasing in Saudi Arabia and there is a great need for surgeons in this area. Breast cancer is the most common cause of death among Saudi women after MVA, and the incidence is increasing. This is because there is no screening program in my country, resulting in late discovery. Because of the shortage of specialists, non-specialist general surgeons provide subsequent management. These factors obviously contribute to low survival rates and quality of life for patients, and I very much hope to be involved in improving this situation.
I am absolutely determined to be among the best surgeons in my country in managing breast disease and to acquire and maintain the most current knowledge and skills in my chosen field. I am also very keen to be involved in research in my specialty and, therefore, to make a significant contribution to the academic community and the health of women.
I obtained a remarkably high score in Step 1 at 99 and await Step 2 results of the USMLE but am confident that I shall again achieve a similar outcome. I hope that this will provide you with a further indication of my determination and my capacity for challenging work in support of this application.
I am confident that the fellowship program that you offer will enable me to achieve my goals and that I shall make a valuable and significant contribution to your academic community. Thank you for considering my application for the program.