Pre-Medical Program Admission, Research Assistant, Nepalese Applicant

The highlight of my life so far 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 log in all patients and visitors. I also provided directions, serve as an escort, and provide updates regarding wait times and the progress of patients’ treatments, working closely with office staff, registrars, nurses, and doctors. The profound joy that I find at work in the hospital is why I have my heart set on becoming a doctor myself. The doctors at our hospital who participate in free health checkups in remote rural areas and directed towards underserved communities are among my foremost personal heroes.

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, as well as the enormously enriching context of Columbia University, generally speaking, as well as 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 important contributions to the health care profession. An immigrant from Nepal, I survived tuberculosis here in the USA not long after arriving. In terms of Karma, therefore, giving my all towards my education so that I can be accepted into and excel in medical school provides me with the fullest sense of vocation, calling, determination, and a very high motivation to succeed.

As an immigrant from Nepal I fit in well with the vast diversity of underserved communities here in New York City. I follow Mother Theresa in her sense that what we do may be a drop in the ocean but that “the ocean would be less because of that missing drop." Once I realize my goal of becoming a physician, I plan to always remain very much involved with grass roots 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 as a result. I survived here in America as best I could by attending community college and working minimum wage jobs off the books. During my studies at XXXX I was diagnosed and successfully treated for tuberculosis. I put myself through school and graduated with an Associate’s Degree in Liberal Arts with a concentration in Psychology from XXXX Community College with a 3.5 GPA. The fact that 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 and 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 study 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 the story of how when she tried to go to school to study, her father 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 education.

In December of 2012, I went back to Nepal because I had not seen my family for four years. Unfortunately, however, myself and my family found ourselves again caught up in political turmoil and the experience proved to be 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 ended up 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 was working 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 of 2012 and was granted asylum status in 2015. This gave me a much needed sense of security. I will graduate this spring, 2016, 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 provided me with the opportunity to converse with the Director of the International Student’s Office at my college. In fact, she offered me as position as an assistant in her office and I worked there until last December. For the past two months I have been serving as a research assistant position at the XXXX Graduate Center School of Public Health.

I thank you for your consideration of my application to your distinguished and competitive program.

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