I knew I would plan on a career in otolaryngology after I treated a 65-year-old African American man diagnosed with base tongue squamous cell carcinoma. The patient reminded me of my grandfather, who died at 85 from gastrointestinal problems. I did not want to see this patient die during surgery. I felt sympathy for the patient, and I wanted to do whatever was possible to remove his tumor. The patient was elderly, conversational, and energetic, a married gentleman with a pack-a-day tobacco history spanning decades. The patient was anxiously awaiting his turn to be seen by anesthesia before going to the operating room.
This was my first case involving a hemi glossectomy with neck dissection. I was unsure of some of the technical aspects of the procedure and felt comfortable after reviewing the anatomy the night before the surgery. In the operating room, I had a flashback of my gross anatomy days when I dissected the oral cavity and found the lingual and hypoglossal nerve with success. After the first incision, I soon became comfortable with the ambiance of the operating room. I felt sure of myself as I assisted the attending and residents in the operation. During the surgery, I reflected on the fragility of life. As an Otolaryngologist, I extract malignant tumors that immediately prolong my patients’ lives. I most enjoy my role, informing my patients with sympathy and compassion, regardless of their chosen lifestyles.
My experience at Medical University was challenging and demanding. My academic success at the graduate level indicated my potential success at the University School of Medicine. My clinical clerkships have prepared me to be an efficient, hardworking, and knowledgeable resident in Otolaryngology. My experience in general surgery and surgical subspecialties has contributed to my metamorphosis from a medical student to a competent resident. Whether it was dressing changes, suture removal, checking Jackson-Pratt drains or percutaneous intravenous central catheters, writing prescriptions, or filling out discharge forms – all were fulfilling experiences. In addition, taking entire history and physicals in my clerkship helped me hone the particulars necessary to provide a differential diagnosis and efficiently attend to the patient.
I am seeking a residency program with a diverse patient population that presents with common and uncommon head and neck pathologies. My bilingual fluency in English and Spanish has helped me in the community and hospital setting. I have translated and interviewed patients in Spanish in the clinical setting, which resulted in more comfortable patient-physician interaction. I also hope to be selected by a program that allows for research during residency training on new innovative modalities for providing innovative care to prevent head and neck cancers. I am looking for a program that will give me large numbers of patients and extended hours so that I will be allowed to gain the experience that I need and crave to become a top-notch surgeon. My future goals include service to an underserved Hispanic community to continue my care for the largest growing immigrant community in the United States. Moreover, I hope to continue to advance in my career by completing a fellowship in facial plastic surgery to learn to provide optimal care for those patients that have been victims of trauma to the face.
Residency Personal Statement Otolaryngology