I hope very much to be selected for study towards the PHD in Epidemiology at XXXX University. XXXX is my first choice among doctoral programs because of the sheer excellence of your program that I have come to appreciate as an MPH student at XXXX. My central professional goal is to serve as a research scientist in the area of medicine and health care, with special attention to preventive medicine. For some time now, my goal has been to make progress towards becoming a physician and a scientist; and towards this end I completed medical school in China, where I was born and raised and then went on to study before coming to the USA to earn my MPH Degree.
My central professional focus as a researcher is in the area of preventive medicine and lifestyle education; in this way I hope to make my maximum contribution to my society, promoting healthy lifestyle choices based on the latest evidence-based research in the area of Public Health and related fields. Born and raised in a family of medical professionals, I do not remember a time at the dinner table when the subject of medical emergencies and other challenges would not come up. My father is a cardiologist and I have an uncle who also practices medicine. Little boys love heroes and mine were most of all my father and uncle, as well as their colleagues, who I would hear stories about. Thus, going to medical school for me was almost a foregone conclusion.
I am currently working towards the completion of my MPH Degree at XXXX and serving as a volunteer research assistant at XXXX Health Study, one of the most famous lifestyle research centers in the USA. I hope very much to be accepted to the PHD Program at XXXX University in the area of Epidemiology so that I might have the opportunity to continue giving my all to research in cancer epidemiology – the area in which I am writing my Master’s Thesis under the tutelage of one of my professors who is also a senior epidemiologist at the California Cancer Registry.
Full of questions with no adequate answers both before and after my graduation from Medical School in China, I remained keen to continue studying in those areas of medicine and public health in which I felt the greatest interest and passion. As a result of witnessing the suffering of patients with end stage diseases, I have paid a lot of special attention to the study of the best ways to provide comfort and care to patients in these types of cases; but it is preventive medicine which holds the top priority among my professional interests.
After finishing medical school, I decided that the best way to advance my career would be to earn the MPH Degree with a focus on Epidemiology at XXXX. In this way, I would be able to continue my training in data management, advanced statistical analysis, and interpretation the results on numerous projects. I am especially grateful for the special training that I have received working with various statistics programs such as SAS, R, SPSS and Microsoft Access. I participated in several research projects exploring the demographics of cancer-specific marker Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor (EGFR) prediction, a collaborative project between the California Cancer Registry and the University Cancer Center in Loma Linda under the guidance of one of my professors, Dr. XXXX. This is a population-based, non-concurrent cohort study using statewide data from CCR in order to estimate the frequency of EGFR testing and EGFR mutation status findings among stage IV lung adenocarcinoma patients with a focus on demographic predictors. I worked closely with faculty members in both Epidemiology and Biostatistics as well as Oncology fellows – doing data analysis and graph creation through SAS programming. The study has been accepted for inclusion at an ASCO conference.
My practicum with the Department of Patient Safety and Reliability greatly enlightened my understanding of the critical importance of data for the improvement of health care quality and patient safety; helping me to integrate and apply classroom learning with professional experience. I received considerable hand- on training working as a statistician shadowing different doctors and senior quality analysts. I collaborated closely with the team to provide analytical support to quality improvement for each department. I also helped the team to establish a clinical guideline tracking and reminder system, collaborating with several IT staffs, setting up a new, reliable clinical guideline dataset with automatic reminder system for periodic updating. Thus, I was able to learn a great deal about how healthcare organizations make use of data, especially with respect to predictive analytics.
As a medical student, I was involved in the research project titled the Function of Hcy-inducted MMP in the Pathogenesis of Atherosclerosis and the Reverse of Statins. It was my first time designing a comprehensive experiment scheme under the guidance of an advisor; putting rigorous experimental and statistical methods into practice. Close observation, creativity, and innovation are the forces upon which I thrive. Another highlight of my career so far, during my clinical internship in a training hospital, I also invented a new model tool, a “subcutaneous tunnel guider” that helps to reduce pain and increase the efficiency of a new cardiac pacemaker. I am proud of the fact that I hold a patent in China for this device that I designed and constructed.
My study of Cardiovascular disease has been especially intense since I was invited to help Professor Dr. Guo to compile his book Varied Cardiovascular Diseases, discussing cardiovascular variation from perspectives such as danger factors, individual differences, and therapeutic doses. Through communication with my professors and consulting with articles retrieval, I finished compiling the chapter on “individual differences”, and my work won encouraging comments from professors.
The foremost highlight of my career so far has been my work with the Adventist Health Study, a well-known research team conducting measurements of the links between lifestyle, dietary patterns, and disease incidence and mortality in the assessment of more than 96,000 SDA members. Based on my solid medical background, experience with relevant studies, specific training in SAS programming and basic statistical methodology theories, I feel that I am a solid candidate for continuing my academic research at the doctoral level, taking a closer look than I have had the opportunity so far, at the nutritional aspects of cardiovascular and cancer epidemiology – in particular.
I keenly look forward to a long and productive career as a lifelong learner and research scientist, giving my all to the advancement of Medicine and Public Health through research. Earning the PHD in Epidemiology is essential for me to most fully realize my central long-term goals and make my fullest contribution to my field, studying disease causes and transmission traces, and also helping to raise health awareness among citizens so as to improve global health standards.
I hope to start my PHD. training at XXXX University in the fall of 2019 and I look forward to the next 4 or 5 years of pioneer research in the program. I am confident that my strong science background and research experience will enable me to hit the ground running in your doctoral program and excel. My colleagues say that I am an optimist and always a good team player. I believe that my passion and determination for this discipline will ultimately enable me to make important, even lifesaving, contributions.
I thank you for considering my application.