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 developing my interest in studying medicine and becoming a physician. One minute he asked me how my day had been at school; the next, he was dead. I have never ceased to ponder what went wrong from that moment forward. In that instant, I became a serious little adult at 5.
I was fortunate enough to get the opportunity to leave my native Nigeria, so full of suffering and such a lack of opportunity, to immigrate to the United States in 2005. It has been a most beautiful 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, living for healthcare. Primarily, I long to be a teacher, a helping hand, a mentor, guiding patients in their h choices, answering questions about lifestyle choices, and 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, and empowering them to prolonged, productive lives full of joy. Thus, I majored in Biomedical Sciences in college and joined the Association of Pre-Medical Students (APMS) and Minorities in Health-Related Professions (MHRP).
When not studying or working with these organizations, I shadowed physicians, attended medical panel discussions, and worked as a volunteer in hospitals. In my sophomore year, I became Vice-President of the MHRP and increased my participation in seminars, gaining crucial 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, were also dear to my heart throughout my college years. None of this was easy because I had to work many hours each week to support myself, in addition to carrying a full course load and my extensive participation in extracurricular activities. 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 another job on top of the one I already had. I beg you to consider this when evaluating my GPA during this period.
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 to many of the issues facing underserved communities and the complex problem of providing adequate medical care to the poor and uninsured. The most significant 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 community. I also hope to return to Nigeria someday and assist with constructing an adequate healthcare system in my country of origin.
Medical School Admission Personal Statement, Immigrant