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Medical School Admission, Korean Applicant, Premature Baby

Updated: Jan 19


I was a tiny, premature baby, and although my medical problems were not severe, they involved frequent hospital visits in my early childhood.  So I became used to the hospital environment and observed the staff in a way that only a child can. I saw that some nurses and doctors did their job, and others did the same job but with a smile and a friendly manner, even occasionally taking the time to share a joke with a little girl. I decided very early in my life that I would like to help people by working in a hospital and that I would be a smiling, friendly, caring staff person and not one of the others. I have never forgotten my childhood resolution in my career to date.


My dream was to be a doctor, but I could not overcome the initial obstacles to my goal. My exam results were not good enough for medical school, which was devastating. Before I had finalized plans to retake exams and re-apply, my parents told me they could not support me through exam re-takes in medical school. They suggested that I apply for nursing school.  I did so but was unhappy, I felt crushed, and my initial results reflected my attitude. At a certain point, I realized I was staring another failure in the face and would let myself and my family down unless something changed. I adopted a new attitude; I studied hard and enthusiastically, improved my scores, and felt much happier. My unique perspective was rewarded by the award of an associate degree and an R.N. post at one of the most prestigious hospitals in South Korea.


Life moved on; I married, moved to the US, had four children, worked as a nurse, and supported my husband through his Ph.D. studies. My life seemed pretty much ‘mapped out,’ but unexpectedly, my husband and I separated. I decided to take careful stock of my life; could I resurrect my dream of being a physician? There seemed no good reason not to pursue my dream, and the more I considered the possibility, the more enthusiastic I became about the idea. Although working full time, I studied for a B.S. degree in biology at XXXX University. My GPA score was admittedly not ‘stellar,’ but I graduated ‘Magna cum Laude.’  I felt very proud to have succeeded when, while studying, I worked full time and cared for my children.


I have nearly two decades of ICU nursing experience and have been successful and, to a large extent, personally fulfilled in my career. I have worked with many doctors who have ranged from barely adequate to excellent. I know that the difference is often one of attitude rather than merely differences in knowledge and skill levels, just as I had observed as a young child. I genuinely believe I have the necessary attitude, passion, and determination to acquire the knowledge and skills required to become an excellent physician. I have taken advice from several exceptional doctors who have encouraged me to take this step.


I am keen to be involved in research, especially neurocritical medicine. I believe that my considerable experience will enable me to make a significant contribution. My ultimate goal is to resume work as a physician in my area of expertise, IC.


 I know that the transition from nurse to physician will require considerable adjustments, and I have carefully considered and discussed this matter with physician colleagues. I conclude that I can fully make those necessary adjustments and changes in professional emphasis. I am under no illusion about the amount of work and commitment required to complete the program successfully, and I undertake to apply myself fully.


 I am very aware of the need for cultural sensitivity in healthcare provision. I have personal experience living in two distinct cultures and adjusting to moving from one to another. I have also treated, studied with, and worked alongside people of many cultural and social backgrounds and enjoy doing so. I enjoy educating people about my own Korean culture and learning from others about their own.


 I know that medical programs attract many very well-qualified applicants. However, I am academically able, as I have recently demonstrated in the face of extreme time constraints. I am a highly experienced health professional with proven skills and knowledge in the area where I wish to work. My most important recommendation is my love and passion for medicine and my determination to excel as part of the Medical School program.


I thank you for considering my application.



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