During my rotations, I found the atmosphere of the Operating Room to be the most exciting, focused, and satisfying of all the settings in which I trained. The idea of becoming a surgeon immediately attracted me. However, I was cautioned by an experienced surgeon that, although many people were attracted to surgery because of the romantic view of it provided in fiction and the movies, they often did not consider the unique demands involved, nor did they satisfy themselves that they indeed possessed the exceptional characteristics required of an excellent surgeon. I determined to take his advice, do some thorough research, and exercise great care before pursuing the specialty for my benefit and, more importantly, that of my future patients.
It becomes evident to any observer that an operation is a piece of effective teamwork. I love working in a team and am active in team games such as cricket; I know that a well-organized squad is much more than the sum of its parts. I have also been a team leader and know that confidence and decisiveness are required to lead a team well and that I possess these qualities. I come from a family of engineers and am ‘imprinted’ with some characteristics that influential engineers and good surgeons share; both are goal-oriented and need to be very precise; complex problem identification/diagnosis is the basis of their work, followed by the identification of effective and ‘elegant’ solutions; and both must exercise patience and perseverance to reach their goals. It is also very relevant to the application to mention that I get along quickly with colleagues and patients and possess a well-developed sense of humor. I have become aware that interpreting and responding appropriately to non-verbal signals from patients is an important area of expertise and is a skill that I hope to develop in my work. I have observed many doctors at work, and the thing that seems to me to separate the ‘good’ from the ‘excellent’ is that in addition to caring for the patients, the latter also cares about them. The patients often seem to be intuitively aware of the difference. I intend to be an excellent physician and surgeon, not merely a good one.
I have at least confirmed to my satisfaction that I possess the characteristics required and considered whether or not I would find this work satisfying over a whole career. I am attracted by: the ‘hands-on’ nature of the work that separates it from other branches of medicine; the need for highly developed diagnostic skills; the need to apply problem-solving skills; the autonomy of the role; the fact that it involves teamwork; the ability to see and measure the results of my work and to interact with patients; the opportunity to sub-specialize once I have some experience; and the variety of the challenges faced each working day. I conclude that I suit general surgery, and general surgery will suit me.
I know that cultural sensitivity and awareness are vital to those providing healthcare. I have happily studied, worked, and socialized with people of many cultural and social backgrounds. I look forward to extending this experience during the residency.
I seek a Residency that will provide readily accessible support and increased autonomy as I progress. I also seek exposure to widely diverse conditions and patient types. My particular interests are in Cardiothoracic Surgery and Trauma/Critical Care. I also look forward to an opportunity to teach and share the benefits of the skills and knowledge I have acquired during the Residency.
I know there will be many well-qualified applicants for residencies in general surgery, but I genuinely believe that I am an exceptional candidate for the reasons stated. However, my main recommendation is a passion for general surgery and to improve the lives of many by learning and applying the skills and knowledge that I shall acquire during the Residency.