Now 35, a medical doctor, and a US citizen, I see my appreciation and celebration of diversity to be among my greatest strengths. Ethnically half Turkish and half Uzbek, I am fully fluent not only in English and Russian but also Turkish and Uzbek. I hope to be selected to serve in a residency position where these languages are heard upon occasion. 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 long hours on my feet, attending to patients from all over the world. Part of my own life has been spent as a political refugee, which has helped to keep me humble and contributes 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, once I got into OR and saw how surgeons were able to work miracles, I fell in love with surgery. After graduating from nursing school, I became a scrub nurse in a hospital, working with plastic surgeons as well as general surgeons. I really enjoyed plastic surgery cases, in particular, with so much diversity in procedures from cosmetic to trauma. Plastic surgery has since been my central passion and I eat, sleep and breath my field, generally falling to sleep reading late each night. I adore assisting in surgical cases, learning new techniques, and loving every moment of it. I knew before I went to medical school that I wanted to become a plastic surgeon and nothing else mattered. However, unlike colleges, medical schools in Russia required students to be citizens. I did not have citizenship from any country because of the rules placed after Soviet Union collapsed, as a result, I could not attend a 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 the Bachelor Science in Nursing with honors and I was working in different fields of nursing while preparing to apply to medical school. I really 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 my memories and sparkles in my eyes. So many things had changed since I was in OR last time, and I was so excited to learn about all of them.
I will earn my MD at XXXX Medical University, in XXXX, OH, this coming 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 increasingly focus my efforts on the underserved. Going on mission trips will be central to my sense of professional identity. I am also hoping to have an exposure to research in the field, which is essential to me because there are no advancements without it.
Throughout the years I learned to be resilient, but calm, adapt to new, fast-paced ever-changing environments. I learned to be a great team member and a leader, learn to resolve conflicts within the team as well as with patients. I learned four different languages and developed a deep appreciation for diversity and multiculturalism. I instilled a love of learning and teaching while working as a tutor in medical school and as a nurse. All these qualities are essential to become a successful well-rounded plastic and reconstructive surgeon and I will bring them all to the residency program. In return, I am hoping for the program to give me an opportunity to develop and grow into an exceptional plastic surgeon I have always endeavored to become.
I thank you.