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Nigerian Woman, Medical School Application Personal Statement

Updated: Jan 19

I’m a 24-year-old woman from Nigeria and a permanent resident of the USA. The most vital part of my application to medical school is my love for my people back home in Africa. Home is where the heart is, and my heart is in Nigeria. As a medical doctor, I want to spend most of my life with my people, contributing to my community, Ishiagu. Medical care, nutrition, and sanitation are what they need most and medical education. I am convinced that this path will be most rewarding since I have spent most of my life in Ishiagu, and I love my people dearly.

In addition to our economic underdevelopment, oil spills from vandalized pipelines have ruined our environment, wreaking devastating consequences on our health for generations to come. In addition to doing everything that I can to protect and clean up our environment, I also want to become a doctor so that I will be able to treat those who are sick. I remain enthusiastic about the future of my people; giving up is not an option.

I have witnessed great suffering resulting from inadequate to non-existent medical care: a world where quack nurses with no academic qualification deliver children. I have known several mothers who have died and their babies also for the lack of proper care. There is no pharmacy; only a local ‘chemist,’’ also with no formal training, sells a minimal selection of medication. I want to be a doctor because I know that many could still live if adequate medical care and appropriate medicine were available. And they continue to die. I observed this on my most recent visit when I went home for more than a month for Christmas of 2011, spending my time in my local community. I was particularly angered to learn about widespread medication label tampering, a result of price wars and competition that jeopardizes the quality of the medication and the efficacy of the dosage. I joined with those attempting to raise consciousness on the issue and press for regulating medical sales. I visited every household of everyone I used to know and bought little gifts for people when I could. The elderly were incredibly grateful for my visits because most stay home all day and have few visitors. I also made friends who often confide in me and seek my advice, especially on health issues. The top highlight for me was our Community General Meeting, where we reviewed our progress and gave solace to those who had lost someone, helping each other through hard times and rejoicing with those getting married.

My mom and I were discriminated against initially because my mother gave birth to me out of wedlock, and still a teenager, which carries a powerful social stigma in my country. My father abandoned us, and we were taken care of by my grandmother, who later died of Alzheimer’s disease in 2007 when I was eighteen. I was mocked in school and felt isolated; my classmates made fun of me because I had no father.

But I am a fighter, and this brutality inspired and empowered me to excel academically, always hoping for a better tomorrow while being persistent, patient, accommodating, relentless, and committed. I graduated from High School in Nigeria in June 2006, buried my grandmother, and moved to America to join my mom, adapting quickly to the weather, the accent, and the educational system. I will graduate in December 2013 with my BS in Biochemistry, and I have also made time to volunteer with several projects dedicated to our environment in Louisiana and Texas.

I feel strongly that the two ‘C’ grades on my transcript do not accurately reflect my ability to perform academically, and I want to explain. My mother is also in school and working, and I have been the primary caregiver to my three-year-old sister throughout my education, which has taken a toll on my grades. When I start medical school, my mother will be done with school.

I'm currently doing research in a Biochemistry lab, and I especially look forward in the future to researching Alzheimer's and aging because this disease took my grandma (and a piece of me too). I plan to collaborate with other doctors and NGOs to build our first health clinic in Ishiagu. I want to help nearby communities as well. Collaborating with other medical doctors with different specialties to fight against our high infant and mother mortality rate, I will dedicate my life to providing adequate medical care to my community—with priority attention to pregnant women and children. I will mobilize our youth to help educate people on everything from diet to sanitation, especially preventable diseases. Specializing in Obstetrics and Gynaecology is my life’s dream, and I want to be the first generation of caregivers among my people to introduce anesthesia. My long-term goals also include earning an MPH degree, which will continue to advance my effectiveness in serving my community.

Thank you for considering my application to medical school.

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