In the summers of 95 and 96, I assisted at a clinic for a group of orthopedic surgeons in private practice in Nashville, Tennessee. I was dedicated to becoming a physician but had not yet selected the specialization in medicine that I hoped to pursue. At the time, I was unaware of the indelible influence those summers would have in guiding me through the years that followed.
The experience introduced me to the arts of physical diagnosis and conservative, surgical patient management. The ability to diagnose patients' particular problems, educate them regarding the mechanisms of injuries, intervention alternatives, and correct pathology in the operating room was especially appealing to me.
While in medical school, I continued to explore my interest in orthopedics. In the summer of ninety-seven, I investigated the growth of pluripotential marrow stem cells on the bone graft substitute calcium sulfate hemihydrate. The project allowed me to apply clinical questions at the basic science level. This fall, I would like very much to return to the laboratory to study the influence of mechanical forces on gene expression in developing synovial joints.
During my third year, I served as a member of the Trauma-Hand orthopedics team. The intricacies of hand and microvascular surgery were fascinating and challenging. The trauma service provided an opportunity to see various orthopedic cases where each presented a puzzle with several solutions to achieve the correct fix. These experiences also solidified my interest in the field of orthopedic surgery.
Though there are no physicians in my family, my parents have played an essential role in developing many of the attributes I believe are crucial to being the person, student, resident, and physician I strive to be. I was taught the importance of teamwork at an early age when I first began competitive athletics. The value of arduous work was instilled in me as well, and I worked at the local furniture factory while I was in high school. During that time, I also remained an active member of my community and high school, where I served as President of the Student Body during my senior year.
For three summers of my undergraduate years, I worked in the garage of a local tire store. I recognize that the team concept, leadership, and hard work are the foundations for success in any endeavor. In addition, my parents taught me the value of teaching others by encouraging me to tutor family members struggling with school. While in high school, I tutored many of my classmates and came to appreciate the rewards of sharing knowledge and how teaching was vital to my learning process. In my Senior year at the University of Alabama, I was asked to be a teaching assistant for Nursing Microbiology and Pathological Microbiology Laboratory courses. Teaching has provided me with the opportunity to both solidify and test the limits of my knowledge. In contrast, I strive to find the best way to present information to others in meaningful ways.
I feel strongly that my experiences and background have prepared me well for a residency in orthopedic surgery. I look forward to working with a team of orthopedists who are excited and passionate about their work as well as educating others. I intend to continue teaching others the art of orthopedics when I finish my residency, whether in academics or the private sector.
I thank you for considering my application for a residency position in Orthopedic Surgery.
Residency Personal Statement for Orthopedic Surgery