Secretary of the soccer club while in medical school, I have always been and always will be enthralled with ‘preventive medicine.’ Since I grew up golfing, I would design diet and exercise plans for friends who I also helped to master the fundamentals of the golf swing. Teaching has long been my special passion, and at some point, I hope to have a share in teaching Ophthalmology to new generations of doctors. In college, teaching was my principal means of service to others, and I most enjoyed tutoring my friends and acquaintances – always free of charge. With hundreds of students in many pre-medical classes, professors and TAs often found themselves overwhelmed by the number of students asking them for help. Most of the local tutoring companies charged fees that few students could afford. Tutoring left me thankful that I could contribute to sustainable improvement in the lives of others.
Ophthalmology was a natural choice, particularly for me, since my father is an ophthalmologist. My fondest memories have been with my dad, accompanying him on inpatient consultations, for example, while he was on-call for ____ Hospital in -___, ____. I most enjoyed the opportunity to shadow several ophthalmologists. I became engaged in glaucoma research at Wills Eye Hospital, spurring my interest in ocular pathology in general and glaucoma in particular. Thus, a fellowship position in Ophthalmology focusing on glaucoma represents the advanced training that will at once make the best use of what I have learned thus far, as well as contribute to a particular need in my community. There is currently a shortage of ophthalmologists in the community where I want to practice (Wilmington, DE), and many of those currently practicing in my area will be retiring over the next few years.
Nothing excites me more than exploring the links between Ophthalmology, on the one hand, and Pathology, on the other. I have become especially fascinated by the effects of diabetes, cancer, autoimmune diseases, and infections on our eyesight, along with what can – or cannot - be detected through the ophthalmic examination. I look forward to building long-term relationships with families as patients, helping them to manage chronic conditions such as diabetic retinopathy or glaucoma. My father is still in private practice here in Delaware, and we are planning for me to take over his practice and patients – relationships that go back decades in some cases - upon his retirement. I have spent several summers working with my father and forming relationships with these patients. I hope to expand the relationships that I have with his patients and work towards leadership in eye care in Delaware.
My glaucoma research at ____ led to my desire to complete a fellowship. There is no cure for glaucoma, and I dream of participating in glaucoma research that leads to one. Unlike many ophthalmologists, I plan to accept Medicaid and Medicare insurance so that I can care for members of underprivileged populations in my community, helping to fill a critical need that also results from the fact that there are very few ophthalmologists practicing in our area.
Thank you for considering my application.
Ophthalmology Fellowship Personal Statement