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Pre-Medical Program Admission, Research Assistant, Nepalese Applicant

Updated: Jun 13

So far, the highlight of my life has been working in a local Hospital in our Special Surgery Unit as a Physician Liaison in the pre-surgical arena, where I formally welcomed and logged in all patients and visitors. I also provided directions as an escort and updates regarding wait times and the progress of patients’ treatments, working closely with office staff, registrars, nurses, and doctors. The profound joy I find at work in the hospital is why I have my heart set on becoming a doctor. My foremost personal heroes are among the doctors at our hospital who participate in free health checkups in remote rural areas and are directed toward underserved communities.

I ask for admission to XXXX’s Post Graduate Pre-Medical Program because I see it as the finest of its kind; thus, it is my first choice for further preparation on my journey to medical school. I especially appreciate the rigorous and thoroughgoing nature of your program that sets it apart from others and the enormously enriching context of Columbia University, generally speaking, and your New York City location.

I received much more than I gave at the hospital; this experience empowered me as an individual and ultimately set the stage for my making essential contributions to the health care profession. As an immigrant from Nepal, I survived tuberculosis in the USA shortly after arriving. Therefore, in terms of Karma, giving my all towards my education to be accepted into and excel in medical school provides me with a sense of vocation, calling, determination, and a high motivation to succeed.

As an immigrant from Nepal, I fit in well with the vast diversity of underserved communities in New York City. I follow Mother Theresa in her sense that what we do may be a drop in the ocean, but “the ocean would be less because of that missing drop." Once I realize my goal of becoming a physician, I always plan to remain very much involved with grassroots initiatives here at the local level, working for projects like Caring Neighborhoods that serve critical areas in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, and even some parts of Manhattan, attending to those who have limited health care options, socio-economically challenged neighborhoods with very crowded emergency rooms in public hospitals.

I came to the United States as an international student in 2008. My father planned to pay for my college tuition here in America until Nepal’s revolutionary Maoists threatened his life to extort money from his construction company, which he ultimately had to close. I survived here in America as best I could by attending community college and working minimum wage jobs off the books. I was diagnosed and successfully treated for tuberculosis during my studies at XXXX. I put myself through school and graduated with an Associate’s Degree in Liberal Arts concentration in Psychology from XXXX Community College with a 3.5 GPA. I am a TB survivor also enhances my sense of determination and calling to become a doctor.

During my last semester at XXXX College, I was awarded a volunteer internship at a Hospital for Special Surgery. It was there that I most fully realized that I would devote my life to medicine. My brother is a doctor. He studied MBBS at Fudan University in China with a scholarship from the Ministry of Education in Nepal. He had always inspired me to learn hard when I was in school, and I always looked up to him.

My grandfather died when my dad was only in the fifth grade, and my father instantly became the family breadwinner. My mother never went to school at all. She tells me how when she tried to go to school to study, her father, more here, came to get her to babysit her sister and pulled my mom by her ears, saying, “girls are not supposed to read and write.” My parents, however, have always supported my education. I am proud to be the first female in my family to pursue an education.

In December of 2012, I went back to Nepal because I had not seen my family for four years. Unfortunately, my family and I were again caught up in political turmoil. The experience proved traumatic, especially since my family decided to flee to the sanctuary of an uncle in a different town. I ended up staying for several weeks longer than anticipated to help my family and returning to begin a 4-year college program later than I had planned.

Soon, however, I was making good strides at XXU. Each day was a triumph to get through and get by since I worked as much as 55 hours a week to pay my expenses and tuition as a supermarket cashier, again off the books, which I found stressful. I applied seeking protection from the US government in August 2012 and was granted asylum status in 2015. This gave me a much-needed sense of security. This spring, 2016, I will graduate with a double major in biochemistry and psychology.

The most recent earthquake in Nepal made life especially difficult for my parents, and since then, I have helped them financially as much as possible. I submitted an essay to the Institute of International Education about how the earthquake had affected my family and was awarded $2,000 in emergency student funding. This allowed me to converse with my college's Director of the International Student’s Office. She offered me a position as an assistant in her office, and I worked there until last December. I have served as a research assistant at the XXXX Graduate Center School of Public Health for the past two months.

Thank you for considering my application to your distinguished and competitive pre-med program.

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