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Residency Family Medicine, Applicant Battling Chronic Disease

Since my very first clinical rotation in the area of Family Medicine, as a student in medical school, I have been profoundly in love with this area of study and practice. I never cease to be impressed by the healing power of family connections to aid in the recovery of the ill or injured. Making the most of family resources, especially emotionally, for me, will always be critical to the practice of medicine. While I also excelled in my clerkships in clinical and urgent care settings and have profoundly enjoyed every aspect of medicine with which I have engaged so far, from ObGyn and Pediatrics to Surgery, Family Medicine is where my heart is.

I am the kind of hard-working, unpretentious, doctor who feels most at home serving in a free clinic, helping ordinary, humble people to heal, and to deal with the stress and difficulties of life in today’s fast- paced world. I genuinely care for people and very enjoy caring for my patients; I see this as my own greatest resource in medicine. The time that I was able to spend so far serving in community clinics has represented the finest and most important moments of my life so far; I have matured in my thinking about health on a societal level in America and also the importance of holistic understandings of wellbeing and mental health. I now feel strongly that my greatest strength in medicine is in my compassion, and the way in which I have been blessed to cultivate that compassion as a result of having to myself battle a chronic disease. By the beginning of my second year of medical school, I was ill with lupus. As the condition worsened, throughout my second year as a medical student, it began to increasingly have a negative impact on my studies. Still, despite the fact that I completed especially rigorous clerkships at tertiary hospitals, I managed to complete all rotations and pass all examinations. I continued to perform in my third year up until I was finally forced to throw in the towel when I was hospitalized for 2 weeks. Even though I was myself becoming a doctor, I was not adequately prepared for the severity of the symptoms that overtook me nor the difficult road that lay in front of me in terms of recovery.

As soon as I was released from the hospital, I embarked on a journey that would eventually teach me a great deal about Medicaid (Medi-Cal), SNAP benefits, and disability insurance, learning the hard way through lengthy and convoluted application processes that spanned weeks and in some cases months, eventually managing to secure these invaluable resources and determined to become one of the fortunate patients who is able to juggle these processes and recover at the same time. Health & disability insurance, medication costs and side-effects, on one occasion, I had to personally appeal a medication denial by submitting peer-reviewed journals citations in support of my current treatment plan. When I returned to medical school from my medical leave of absence, I found my recent experiences served as a valuable asset when it came to treating patients and I made successful progress throughout my 3rd year. By the time I started my fourth year of medical school, I was once again almost whole and had recovered the level of energy that I had in my first year. My rotations in pediatrics, internal medicine, OBGYN education, and emergency medicine solidified my drive to pursue family medicine – especially enjoying the diversity of patients. I realized that I wanted a career that combined the many things that I enjoyed about different specialties, listening to the stories of patients of all ages and sorting through their many medical and psychosocial issues. I am grateful for the experiences that have prepared me to give my all to Internal Medicine.

I am thankful for my growth during medical school that will enable me to distinguish myself as an especially competent and engaged resident physician, with conviction, fortitude, resilience, and an outstanding ability to relate to patients. I am most fortunate to have made a full recovery from a chronic disease, and this helps me to fight harder for the lives of my patients, giving my all so that they can also beat the odds. I am determined, resilient, and confident as never before – ready for long hours on my feet as a resident internist.

I thank you for considering my application in Family Medicine.

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