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I am writing this letter to complement my application for a residency position in ophthalmology at XXXX. Since most of my personal details have been included in other portions of my application I will summarize some pertinent points and give a little more background into why I have chosen to pursue a career in ophthalmology at XXXX.
Ophthalmology is an extremely rewarding and dynamic field of medicine. Ever since my first experiences with ophthalmology in first year clinical skills, while blinding my fellow classmates trying to find the elusive optic disc, I have been fascinated with the visual system. I have continued to be captivated by ophthalmology every step of the way from finally seeing the optic disc to learning the art of indirect ophthalmoscopy and gonioscopy. Unlike other fields of medicine, ophthalmology has intrigued and interested me each and every day of my electives. I have yet to find an area within ophthalmology that is not both rewarding and challenging.
Ophthalmology has a variety of characteristics that I find appealing. It encompasses many fields of medicine including internal medicine, rheumatology, endocrinology, neurology, surgery, pediatrics, and genetics. Despite its small size, the visual system is extremely complex and has a broad spectrum of disease processes and abnormalities lending itself to a diverse and stimulating area of specialization. Also impressive is the degree to which an ophthalmologist can impact an individual's life. I have been fortunate to witness first hand the appreciation of post-operative patients on numerous occasions. I find it difficult to imagine the rewarding feeling gained by preserving or restoring vision, the most precious of senses, being matched in any other field of medicine. There is extensive patient contact with all ages, from infants to seniors, and an equally diverse array of disease processes to treat, making ophthalmology a fascinating specialty. I tend to be a perfectionist and enjoy tasks requiring great attention to detail (like tying salmon flies or suturing a laceration on a child's face) which is another reason why the art of the ophthalmic examination and ocular surgery appeals to me.
Based on your description of what you are seeking in an ophthalmology resident I feel I am well suited to your program. Academically, I have been strong throughout my university career as most recently demonstrated by being placed on the Dean's List (top 10% of class) for 14 months of clerkship. My preceptors throughout medical school have frequently commented on my interpersonal and communication skills along with my friendly nature. My hardworking, dedicated and self-motivated personality has been evident in my ability to own and operate a successful sea kayaking business throughout medical school while maintaining an excellent academic record. I have completed 18 weeks of electives in ophthalmology proving my interest in this specialty. Many of these electives were conducted on my vacation time to allow exposure to related fields of medicine including plastic surgery and otolaryngology in my regular schedule. Without reiterating my curriculum vitae, I am proud of my ability throughout medical school to keep a strong balance between medicine and my personal life and hobbies. My involvement with the Newfoundland Society for the Physically Disabled and a multitude of outdoor activities and sports illustrates this well.
When choosing a residency program, it is clear that XXXX has a superior program for training in ophthalmology. As a clinical clerk on elective, I have witnessed the superb teaching and research opportunities in your department. I was very impressed by the collegial atmosphere and helpful nature of the professors, residents and support staff during my six weeks of electives at XXXX. I have many close friends in XXXX and have thoroughly enjoyed my time there. The combination of the academic excellence of XXXX, the appeal of the city and the ability to remain in XXXX makes XXXX an ideal setting for my residency training. As an applicant in such an exciting and competitive field I would be honoured if you would consider me for a residency position in your program.