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Residency Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Speaker of Turkish and Russian

Updated: Jan 25

Now 35, a medical doctor, and a US citizen, I see my appreciation and celebration of diversity among my greatest strengths. Ethnically half Turkish and half Uzbek, I am fully fluent in English and Russian and Turkish and Uzbek. I hope to be selected to serve in a residency position where these languages are heard occasionally. I especially appreciate and prize the great diversity that characterizes the medical profession in the United States and keenly look forward to giving my all to participation, with extended hours on my feet, attending to patients worldwide. Part of my own life has been spent as a political refugee, which has helped keep me humble and contributed to my capacity to care for members of my community.

My first experience in the operating room (OR) was as a nursing student in Russia. I did not know then that I would go on to become a surgeon. However, I fell in love with surgery once I got into OR and saw how surgeons could work miracles. After graduating from nursing school, I became a scrub nurse in a hospital, working with plastic and general surgeons. In particular, I enjoyed plastic surgery cases with so much diversity in procedures, from cosmetic to trauma. Plastic surgery has since been my central passion, and I eat, sleep, and breathe my field, generally falling to sleep reading late each night. I adore assisting in surgical cases, learning new techniques, and loving every moment. Before I went to medical school, I knew I wanted to become a plastic surgeon, and nothing else mattered. However, unlike colleges, medical schools in Russia require students to be citizens. I did not have citizenship from any country because of the rules after the Soviet Union collapsed. As a result, I could not attend medical school.

Things changed in 2005 when my family and I were offered an opportunity to come to the United States as refugees. I was so ecstatic and knew that the pathway would not be the easy one, but I was ready for it. Once we got to the USA, besides going to school, I had to learn English and, at the same time, work two to three jobs to afford the cost of living. I graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing with honors, working in different fields of nursing while preparing to apply to medical school. I enjoyed working as a pediatric and geriatric nurse and radically improved my therapeutic communication skills, especially in English. However, nothing would be close to OR experience, and it only solidified my decision to give my all to becoming a plastic surgeon. Once I got into medical school and started surgical rotations, it brought back memories and sparkles in my eyes. So many things have changed since I was in OR last time.

I will earn my MD at XXXX Medical University in XXXX, OH, in May 2019. I also simultaneously earned a Master of Health Science Degree from XXXX University. As my career progresses, I hope to find ways to focus my efforts on the underserved increasingly. Going on mission trips will be central to my sense of professional identity. I am also hoping to be exposed to research in the field, which is essential because there are no advancements without it.

I learned to be resilient but calm and adapt to new, fast-paced, ever-changing environments. I learned to be a great team member and a leader and to resolve conflicts within the team and with patients. I learned four different languages and deeply appreciated diversity and multiculturalism. I instilled a love of learning and teaching while working as a medical school tutor and a nurse. These qualities are essential to becoming a successful, well-rounded plastic and reconstructive surgeon, and I will bring them all to the residency program that will facilitate my growth into the exceptional plastic surgeon I have always wanted to become.

I thank you.

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