Witnessing my father’s death from sudden cardiac arrest when I was five years old was an extremely traumatic experience that played a foundational role in the development of my interest in studying medicine and becoming a physician. One minute he was asking me how my day had been at school, the next minute he was dead. From that moment forward, I have never ceased to ponder what went wrong. In that instant, I became a little adult at 5, serious and dedicated to the cause of preserving life.
In 2001, I was fortunate enough to get the opportunity to leave my native Nigeria, so full of suffering and such a paucity of opportunity, to immigrate to the United States. Since then, I have built and enjoyed a most wonderful life, full of a rich multitude of learning experiences; for example, attending Mini-Medical School during my senior year of high school. It was this experience that fully cemented my quest to become a doctor. I had found my calling in life, the embodiment of what I most crave, live for, and respect. First and foremost, I long to be a teacher, a helping hand, a mentor, guiding patients in their health care choices, answering questions about life style choices, practicing the art of preventive medicine long before drastic intervention is called for. I also want to be a scientist, researching and diagnosing the physiological and environmental antecedents and causes of ailments: a healer, caring for patients, listening to and responding to their concerns, empowering them to lengthy, productive lives full of joy. Thus, I majored in Biomedical Sciences in college and joined the Association of Pre Medical Students (APMS) as well as Minorities in Health Related Professions (MHRP).
When not studying or working with these organizations, I was shadowing physicians, attending medical panel discussions, and working as a volunteer in hospitals. In my sophomore year, I became Vice-President of the MHRP, and increased my level of participation in seminars, gaining critically important public speaking and organizational skills. Community service is my focal point, and serving with our Community Corps, cleaning up the streets of Buffalo and tutoring inner city children in various subjects, was also dear to my heart throughout my college years. None of this was easy, because, in addition to carrying a full course load and my extensive participation in extracurricular activities, I had to work many hours each week to support myself. Things became especially difficult for us during my junior year of college when my mother lost her source of income and I had to work to support her as well, finding still another job on top of the one I already had. I beg you to take this into consideration when evaluating my GPA during this period.
I am applying to medical school as a woman, as a person of color, and as an African.
I hope to devote my life to the special attention of women and medically underserved communities and I look forward to many years of practice in an inner-city setting. I have already started preparing myself for these career directions through my work at the free clinic where I was exposed me to many of the particular issues facing underserved communities and the complex problematic of providing adequate medical care to the poor and uninsured. The greatest contribution that I might be able to make to society would be to contribute to the realization of equal and outstanding healthcare for all members of our society. I also help to return to Nigeria someday and assist with the construction of an adequate health care system in my country of origin.