My mother worked as a board-certified emergency doctor whose focus was upon those who could not afford care. I was a volunteer for four years during High School working on the mobile unit of the Memorial Regional Hospital. This background has made me very aware of the disparities in the provision of healthcare and the sad and sometimes fatal results of those disparities: it also made me determined to pursue a career in the healthcare field. In addition to the voluntary exposure which made me so conscious of various problems in the provision of effective and fair healthcare, I have witnessed several family members succumb to various cancers and this has fired a particular interest in this disease and in doing what I can to reduce its incidence and its effects once diagnosed.
Since graduating, I have shadowed dedicated and skilled physicians and this has provided me with insights into relating professionally and empathetically with those who may be suffering distress and confusion. It was the death of a young cousin from brain cancer that spurred me to bring my plans forward and make a start on the academic and professional path that will enable me to make the beneficial difference in the lives of others that I have wished to make since my early years. I regard this application as the first and most vital step in that journey.
My goals are to earn the Master’s in Public Health and then pursue a medical degree with the ultimate aim of qualifying as an Interventional Radiologist. I intend to concentrate on the area of cancer epidemiology as far as possible during the program as cancer has affected many of those closest to me in my life. Now, I hope to play a part in its prevention and in providing the means for early diagnosis and effective treatment where prevention fails.
My bachelor degree is in Environmental Studies, with a minor in International Studies. I decided to study the environment because I was interested in determining the effect of external factors on health and, I believe that this academic background forms an excellent basis for success in the Master’s program. I am passionately concerned about establishing and dealing with the reasons for the differences in health outcomes between races, and between the economically marginalized and higher income populations, especially in relation to cancers. Such disparities are clearly present and need to be investigated to establish causes and solutions. I hope to play a part in establishing how the various environmental and societal factors affect health, and outcomes once disease occurs. I am also aware that, as the population ages, cancers will be more prevalent and that this presents a further and growing challenge in healthcare education and provision. I am certainly aware that ‘health-consciousness’ among poor communities is much less apparent than among higher income groups and that effective education relating to early detection and treatment of cancers is one of the most important means of improving outcomes. I hope to be involved in health educational endeavors throughout my future career.
I know that effective research is the key to providing the answers that are needed to begin resolving the questions that interest me so passionately. I also know that an interest in a subject is not by itself sufficient to enable a person to undertake effective research. I am, by nature an intellectually curious person with an ability to think originally and creatively and am happy to collaborate with others to achieve a common goal. My achievements to date have called for the kind of determination and single-mindedness that is required of a good researcher and I am very keen to be involved in truly effective research that will enable real improvements in the lives of many. I would be particularly interested in assisting in research relating to the fact that African-Americans suffer a significantly higher death rate from breast cancers than other races and to establish why this difference exists. Both my grandmothers died from this disease and I would regard such work as a memorial to them and so many like them.
I believe that it is relevant to this application to state that, during most of my high school years, I lived with my paternal grandparents and my father. My father was severely addicted to drugs and there was a great deal of disruption and distress in the home because of this situation. However, in the face of this, I managed to graduate top of my class which I believe is a demonstration of exceptional determination and diligence. I admit that my bachelor degree GPA though good is not stellar however, in the face of the need to supplement my scholarship funds by working part-time, I consider it to be creditable and a further confirmation of my willingness to work hard to achieve my goals.
In my spare time I am an enthusiastic runner and enjoy working out. I find intense physical activity to be an enjoyable way of relaxing and of retaining good health. I am a native English speaker who can communicate in basic Spanish and I intend to pursue the study of the language in the future as time and commitments allow. I have been fortunate in having had the opportunity to spend time abroad as part of my undergraduate studies and visited several European countries as well as Morocco. I thoroughly enjoyed this exposure to different cultures and people and I hope to be able to travel widely in the future in order to gain an understanding of the public health policies of other nations and their outcomes and in order to establish the most effective means of dealing with health issues common to different nations and cultures.
To summarize: I hold a relevant bachelor degree, I have proven myself to be a determined and diligent student and I have voluntary and intern experience relevant to the program. However, my main recommendation is a genuinely passionate interest in Public Health and specifically Epidemiology along with a deep desire to acquire the specialist knowledge, skills and research experience to enable me to make a beneficial difference in the lives of minority and economically marginalized people.
Thank you for considering my application.