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Womens health has always been an important issue for me. I was born and raised in the small community of XXXX population of 900 people. Throughout my youth, my community was fortunate to have three permanent physicians. All three were wonderful doctors but all male. I watched women in XXXX and surrounding communities travel hours to visit a female physician. The tiny size of the community often meant these women had social encounters with their physicians. They just did not feel comfortable going to these physicians for their well woman exams. For those women who could not find a female physician, they often went without it. Although the mentality towards womens health is changing, I have met several elderly women who have never had a pap smear. I have seen women attempt to hold their womb inside their vagina with cloth binding. I have witnessed young women too embarrassed to have their yearly exams and then being diagnosed with cervical cancer at the age of 23 years; sadly, this is a commonplace occurence in rural areas.
I have always been fascinated with the functioning of the human body. As a young girl I loved watching surgery on television. I was in awe of the human anatomy and physiology. I was amazed that your lungs could breathe, your heart could pump blood and your food be completely digested without any conscious effort. The exquisite, persevering yet fragile nature of life itself was overwhelming to me. The fact I could recognize its beauty, while almost everyone around me was oblivious, made me feel special inside. I can honestly say that I cannot remember the day I decided to become a physician. Truly, I could never imagine doing anything else.
Growing up, I was a bright social student who attempted to live life to the fullest. My early days of karate and ballet instilled discipline and taught the focusing of energy. In later years, participation in sports and drama allowed me to understand and appreciate the necessity of teamwork and camaraderie. I began swimming as a small child and fell in love with the sport. I continued my training to be a nationally certified lifeguard and swimming instructor. I experienced huge adrenalin rushes when learning life saving technical emergency skills. The training also allowed me to work very closely with children and adults. I received great satisfaction following my students through their different levels of training. My love affair did not stop at the pool; I became heavily interested in scuba diving and completed my international diving accreditation. During my university career I became a water aerobics instructor. I wanted to provide a fun, yet challenging, cardiovascular workout for those individuals who could not participate in high impact exercises.
During the course of my academic career, several instances solidified medicine in my mind. I remember learning genetics in my grade 10 biology classes. I was shocked to learn that all your personal characteristics could be decided by 46 microscopic chromosomes. I needed to know more. This compelled me to do a B.Sc. majoring in biochemistry with a minor in chemistry. The intriguing enzymatic processes of the functioning human body lead me to find a job as a research assistant in a protein analysis laboratory. The research was interesting but the lack of personal contact left me dissatisfied. It just signified that interpersonal relationships would be essential to my career choice. I began volunteering at the emergency room at XXXX and found the incoming cases captivating. I often stayed late to find out status of an injured patient. During my university years, the death of a close family friend from breast cancer only fuelled my drive to become a physician. I knew the only way to reach people for prevention and education would be through medicine. Medicine was my calling.
I thoroughly enjoyed all my core rotations, but obstetrics and gynecology found a special place in my heart. I cannot describe the overwhelming feeling of joy that washed over me when I delivered my first baby. Obstetrics allows me to be a part of the most exhilarating experience in a persons life, the birth of their child. Gynecology provides me with the opportunity to educate and to practice preventative medicine. Obstetrics and gynecology is a beautiful mix of both medicine and surgery. There is a special bond between doctor and patient in this field. The patient must have an immense trust in their physician to discuss the most intimate details of their most private parts. I believe I have the capability to provide that trusting bond.
I am an outdoor adventurer who enjoys hiking, camping, and sea kayaking. XXXX has an impeccable program providing early experience in all aspects of surgery and women's health. I want very much to attend a program that emphasizes continuing education and has ample opportunities for research. Finally, I am interested in working in a supportive environment with individuals who enjoy their profession and are willing to provide a guiding hand throughout my residency.