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It is now some years since I worked on a ward. I have worked for the most part in research and in Pharmacy. I have enjoyed both roles and have excelled within them. However, I now want very much to treat patients directly as well as undertaking research and I have a special interest in Internal Medicine. The specialty has always had a very strong appeal for me but after moving to the US, my immediate choices were limited and I turned to my other great interest, research. Internal Medicine appeals to me particularly because of the variety in the types of conditions and patients treated, the need to take a ‘holistic’ view of the patient, the strong diagnostic skills required and the preventative aspects to the work but mainly the appeal lies in the opportunity to form long term relationships with patients and to see a situation from start to finish. In my work as a pharmacist, I have had the opportunity to work with Internists and to learn more about their role and this has fully confirmed me in my choice. I also believe that this specialty will enable me to integrate my knowledge of clinical care, pharmacy and research to achieve its maximum utility. My goals are to be an excellent Internist and to undertake clinical research. I am sure that my substantial research experience can be successfully applied to the treatment of various diseases.
In China, I saw children born with serious defects due to inappropriate medication or alcohol abuse and found this heart-rending. My own nephew was born with a significant developmental brain disorder and so I have personal experience of the suffering involved. Consequently, I have developed a great interest in preventative medicine and want to ensure that my future patients are properly educated about any necessary lifestyle changes. Another skill that I learned on the wards was to be sensitive to non-verbal communication by patients and I hope to develop and apply this skill in my future work.
During my time at Fudan, I conducted a study into the relationship between estrogen and ovarian cancer. I discovered that different dosages had diverse impacts on the proliferation of ovarian cancer cells. The findings, which could help direct clinical usage of estrogen, were published in Chinese national journals. My first project in the US was to conduct molecular biology research on a novel tumor suppressor gene which may be related to impaired mammary gland development and lactation. To develop my career in clinical research and extend my skills in conducting clinical trials, I took up a place at Yale School of Public Health to study statistics, epidemiology, health services research methodology and management. I believe that now we have reached the stage of ‘Evidence- based Medicine’, my own background and interests will be of significant value in the specialty. I am particularly well prepared to contribute to medical practice applying evidence collected from both clinical practices and researches.
I am a naturally cheerful and friendly person and I have often been complimented on my calm, even-tempered character in the face of difficult events or people, in fact one colleague used to say when stressful situation arose, “If only we could clone you!” Pharmacists need to have an eye for detail, to be diligent and to exercise great care in their work and I fulfilled these requirements fully. My successful research work will confirm that I am a good ‘team player’ with excellent observational and analytical skills who is able to formulate plans and to organize well. I believe that all my experiences, skills and characteristics will enable me to become a significant asset to the residency program and an excellent Internist.
I am aware of the need for cultural sensitivity in medicine generally and in this specialty in particular. Having ‘bridged’ two cultures myself and faced the challenges involved, I feel that I am especially able to empathize with those who come from other cultures. I have happily worked and socialized with people from many cultural and social backgrounds and look forward to widening this experience in the program and in my future work.
I am seeking a challenging residency involving much direct patient contact and an opportunity to ‘add value’ to the program by undertaking useful and successful research. I have seen many doctors at work and have concluded that the difference between a good doctor and an excellent one is that the former cares for the patient and the latter cares both for and about the patient, patients seem to be intuitively aware of the difference and react differently to each. I firmly intend to be an excellent doctor.
I know that there will be many well qualified applicants for a residency in this popular specialty. However I do believe that I am an excellent candidate. I am a highly experienced and skilled researcher and I have the personal characteristics to enable me to become an excellent, empathetic and effective practitioner. My main recommendation is a long held love for this specialty and ambition to pursue it.