I am a young Saudi Arabian who finished medical school in 2016. I hope to be selected for the Residency and Master’s Degree Program in Vision Science and Investigative Ophthalmology at the XXXX Institute at the School of Medicine of the University of XXXX.
Volunteer work has long been of great importance to my sense of identity – personal and professional. I served as a volunteer with the Saudi Red Crescent Authority from October through December of 2014 and began helping out at a hospital for the underprivileged at the same time. I also went on a medical mission trip to help in Palampur, in India’s Kangra Valley, in January 2015. I have been involved in various charitable initiatives, particularly blood drives since this is where I find my greatest joy. After India, my next medical mission the following year was to Tanzania. My trips to India and Tanzania are the highlights of my life so far, when and where I felt most needed and where I could do the most good. My participation in support of our mission to Tanzania left me hungry for a lifetime of additional experience as a medical volunteer serving in remote areas of the globe where people have little-to-no access to any doctor, much less an eye doctor. These experiences also enabled me to think more critically and creatively about healthcare systems globally. I find myself reading in my free time about issues generally speaking for huge countries like India or smaller ones like Tanzania, with the people struggling for hope against long odds. Whenever I visit the Developing World, even if I am traveling for tourism, I go to the local Hospital and its ER to look at its designs and speak with a few care providers about the struggles and challenges they face.
In grade school, I wanted to see no one left behind, and I helped my classmates who had trouble keeping up with the rest of us academically, tutoring them after school. And I continued to do this not only in high school but also in medical school. I graduated with an honorary degree and was chosen to serve as a Teaching Assistant in the School of Medicine from which I graduated. I hope in time to teach Ophthalmology in my country since Saudi Arabia has a great need for well-trained Ophthalmologists. I also look forward to going on medical missions that encompass eye care in the Developing World – for many decades to come, always combining teaching with research and laboring for the benefit of the community. Teaching new generations of doctors about the rapid changes in Ophthalmology represents the most satisfying career that I could imagine. Very little research in Ophthalmology takes place in Saudi Arabia, and I want to work to change this in the future. I am already off to a good start since several of my research projects have been funded by my School of Medicine.
There are several reasons why the Residency/MS Program in Vision Science and Investigative Ophthalmology at the XXXX Institute at the University of XXXX is my very first choice for further advanced training in my chosen field. It would be an enormous honor to begin my formal specialization in Medicine at the world’s leading institution dedicated to Ophthalmic Education and the #1 ranked eye hospital in the USA. In preparation for contributing to the eye care of the Spanish-speaking population of Miami, I have already begun learning the language. Service to the underserved is especially critical to my professional worldview and sense of ethical identity. I have chosen Ophthalmology partly because of the vast opportunities for international missionary service in this area of medicine.
I thank you for considering my application.