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Medical School Personal Statement, Iranian Immigrant to Canada, the Underserved

Updated: May 10

I was raised in Tehran, but I moved to Canada in 1998 when I was ten years old. Doctors have been my heroes since my childhood. An avid daydreamer as a child, I would often spend hours each day conjuring up fantasy visions of myself as an essential doctor, working alongside my colleagues and arriving at a diagnosis as a team. Finding cures for diseases also ranked extremely high among my early fantasies. My fixation with physical health led to me actively taking up bodybuilding by the time I was eighteen, and I even started training other interested individuals, sharing with them the scientific aspects of bodybuilding. I would carefully study the science behind every exercise and always be incredibly careful to produce complimentary diet plans. Since I am graduating this October with an Honorary BSc Degree in Biology from York University, I now have great confidence that I am well prepared to enter medical school and that I have the right level of determination, high motivation, focus, and drive to excel in your program.

Medical School, Iranian Immigrant to Canada, the Underserved 4
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I was always interested in the diseases that struck our family over the years. I did my best to learn everything I could about them; cancer survived by my uncle, the physical disability suffered for so long by my mother, and the near-death of my father - all keenly reinforced my interest and exposure to medicine while still a child and especially a teenager. My bed-fast mother tells me that she would rather be able to run for 10 minutes than inherit ten million dollars. These events have left me serious beyond my years, primarily dedicated to my studies, and most keenly interested in becoming a physician. The emotional and financial difficulties that my family faced during the first few years of our immigration were complicated. I matured very quickly so that I could work, beginning at 14. The first job I had was wearing a cardboard box shaped like a house to attract the attention of oncoming traffic to the new residences being built in that area. I would wear 4-5 layers of clothing during the winter season to withstand the chilly weather. I hated and constantly fought the stigma of being on welfare.

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When a big bully stole my bike, I took Taekwondo classes in addition to Karate. I won two gold medals at the 2003 Canadian Junior Taekwondo Championship at the age of sixteen. A year later, I also won gold in the sparring competition and the pattern performance at the XXXX Taekwondo Championship held at XXXX College. Due to numerous knee injuries, however, by 2005, I was no longer able to compete in sparring competitions; I served as a judge for some time after that. I feel that my experience as a martial artist will serve me well as a physician, constantly having learned from the strengths and limits of my own capacities. The most significant contribution that I might be able to make to society would be to help the most vulnerable to protect their health throughout their lifetime, to cure them of ailments, and to help them to make wise choices that make medical intervention unnecessary. I see a medical degree as a giant leap forward to a life of service. I especially look forward to being able to devote my time and my talents to the care of the medically underserved. I want to be remembered not just as a great doctor, but also as a great citizen.

I passed through several critical life-changing events that helped to solidify what I see as my destiny to become an excellent physician. Only one year into our immigration from Iran to Canada my dad had a heart attack while he was on his way to deliver a pizza to a customer. I was eleven and had only been studying English for one year, but I immediately began checking out science textbooks to decipher what had gone wrong with his heart. Soon, I began to understand much of what I was reading.

My passion for the mysteries of the heart has also long been enforced by my mother´s heart disease, thought to be a rare form of Muscular Dystrophy. Watching my mother suffer over the years, slowly losing her ability to move, and only in ever greater agony, has been a bulwark for my studies. I have spent countless hours studying her biopsies and genetic test results in a never-ending search for clues to better understand her rare disease. I must know that I at least tried. I have spent so much time diligently studying at hospitals, that since I have gotten older, I have been occasionally mistaken for a medical professional by patients seeking to find out some sort of basic information. While, of course, I declared that I was only a student, the feeling of trust, and the warmth of the handshake from these patients stayed with me.

I feel strongly that the greatest asset that I have to offer to medical school is my keen, highly refined sense of social responsibility. I do not look at medicine to make a good living; I am much more attracted to the challenge and the fulfillment that comes from service. I spend much free time on the Internet reading and watching videos about the selfless activities of physicians who donate their time to the group Doctors Without Borders. They are fully my modern-day heroes possible, and it is their heroic sacrifice, nobility, and determination to protect the suffering that I most fervently seek to emulate. I hope to one day join their cause.

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