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Medical School, Immigrant Parents, Holistic Health Care

Updated: Jan 26


I wish to study medicine to obtain the skills and knowledge required to help redistribute health as a social good - especially for the disadvantaged. As a child of Vietnamese parents arriving in the United States when I was nine years old, I learned the value of healthcare very early on. My father had been interned in a communist labor camp for eight years as punishment for his military service on behalf of what was formerly South Vietnam. We escaped Vietnam as a family with my father greatly weakened by the ordeal. Within one week of our arrival in America, however, he was disabled as a result of atrial fibrillation.


I have often wondered how different things may have been with adequate healthcare. As the only family member fluent in English, I soon became intimately acquainted with medical services. I accompanied him to his appointments acting as an interpreter. These experiences have exerted a formative influence on my decision to become a doctor. During high school, I gravitated toward Biology and Chemistry to eventually study medicine at university. Upon completing a Bachelor of Science, majoring in Biology, at the University of XXXX, I gained a holistic understanding of the body as the sum of its parts. I credit my chosen free electives in physiology—microbial, human, and exercise—for this critical development.


I began volunteering in the day surgery department of the XXXX Hospital of XXXX. My duties included conveying discharged patients to their transportation, assisting nurses in moving patients to another care unit, and answering and relaying patients' needs from the call system to nursing and PCT staff. I also brought patients food, drinks, and blankets. Over time, these experiences have helped me to develop a familiarity with hospitals as a working environment, including their procedural and medical terminologies.


Volunteering has also reinforced something I already intuitively understood as a person from a minority background who acted as his father's interpreter so that he could access medical care: the importance of diversity and inclusion. The XXXX Hospital places a particular emphasis on the challenges Latin American immigrants and migrants can face when seeking treatment, which typically includes cultural barriers, language, and communication.


I now regard my past as something to be proud of because I can draw on it to help me empathize with all underprivileged patients. I am, therefore, fully committed to nurturing the relationships I will have with my future patients by taking the time to listen to their concerns. My idea of "holistic" healthcare presumes that health issues cannot be treated in isolation. I seek to instill a sense of self-worth in my patients to inspire them in their interactions with healthcare providers. This most excellent feeling of self-worth, I have come to believe, is the key to helping underprivileged patients feel valued and hence better able to make a positive contribution to society, while enjoying longer lives enriched by better health.


I wish to dedicate my professional life to serving the health needs of the minority community. With this long-term goal in mind, my objective is to improve my academic credentials for medical school. I am convinced that my participation in your program will give me the thorough preparation this will require. I respectfully ask for the opportunity to benefit from your program.


Thank you for considering my application.


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