I was asthmatic from the age of five and was hospitalized several times. I observed the world and the adults in it as only a child can. I could see that some doctors and nurses did their job but no more, they cared for the other children and me, but other staff also clearly cared about me and my family. I decided early in life that I would be a doctor and, more importantly, that I would be the type of doctor who genuinely cares about his patients and their families.
I was trained in nuclear medicine in my native China, but particularly enjoyed my rotation in Pediatrics. Because of my own childhood experiences, I found that I could relate easily to child patients and their families and have always enjoyed the company of children. When I moved to North America, I decided that I wanted a more ‘hands-on’ type of work than nuclear medicine and became a Public Health Inspector. I worked in this role for six years. I enjoyed my job, but several events during this time re-fired an interest in pediatrics as I became aware of the abuse, neglect, and healthcare problems of children living in remote and underserved communities.
I had been called to investigate an overflow of garbage at a property. I stepped into a small bungalow in a remote community to a combined smell of mold and feces and the sound of children playing. I followed the voices to find a girl of about five and a boy of about two playing with toys next to a pile of dog feces; their mother lay incapacitated on a nearby dingy couch. The children’s pale faces showed signs of malnutrition. This was a formative event in my life, and I decided that I would seek to help such children as these by qualifying as a pediatrician. My experiences have fired my passion for proactive, preventative intervention in child welfare and healthcare and for becoming an effective advocate for community health, especially children. I hope to eventually become a pediatrician working in a remote and underserved community. I feel strongly that my background in health inspection work has given me an excellent basis to be effective in such a role.
I know that a sick, dependent, and vulnerable little patient with parents wearing anxiety-filled faces provides a uniquely heart-rending scene and calls for unique characteristics in a physician. I also know that not everyone can handle the substantial emotional component of treating sick children. I have considered these extraordinary demands carefully. Having done so, I am sure I can be an influential pediatrician, and I cannot see a better way to live my life than doing so.
I hope to be able to assist in research and believe that I have the determination, focus, and intellectual curiosity to enable me to do so effectively. I would be particularly interested in research on the adverse psychological effects on children of long-term ill-health/hospitalization and ways of alleviating such effects.
I am aware that cultural sensitivity is essential in medicine. I have happily studied and worked with people of many cultural and social backgrounds. I look forward to extending these experiences in the program. I also possess a well-developed sense of humor and a sense of fun that appeals to children.
I know that this specialty attracts many well-qualified applicants. However, I am an exceptional candidate. I have diverse experience that will enable me to contribute to the program; I enjoy teamwork and passing on my knowledge and skills to others; my main recommendation is a genuine and deeply held desire to acquire the additional skills and expertise to treat children expertly and to advance child healthcare, ultimately as a pediatrician in underserved communities.
Pediatric Medicine Residency Personal Statement