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I was born in Northeast China's Jilin Province, the so-called Manchuria region in the past. It remains an economically underdeveloped region at present. My family was rather impoverished when I was a child. My uncle and aunt devoted great attention to my education. They could hardly make their ends meet, but they squeezed out money to send me to the best local school at the time. As early as three years old, I began to learn how to play a traditional Chinese musical instrument called pipa and could manage to play solo among other famous classical melodies the Spring River and Flowers Under Moonlight and the High Mountains and Flowing Rivers. The latter melody was originated more than millennia ago, a famous melody that gave vent to an emotion of seeking for someone keenly appreciative of one's talent. It struck me with feelings of love and accompanied me all through my high school and university life in my quest for knowledge and ideal.
I studied at the middle school attached to Northeast China Teachers' University. It was a key school in the province with some nationwide prestige. I was always within the fifth rank in academic performance. In the junior middle school period I was always among the best of successful candidates in provincial contests in English, chemistry, physics and mathematics. At the senior middle school stage I got first prize in chemistry and third prize in mathematics in the national Olympic contests administered in Jilin Province. I am grateful to my middle school for the solid foundation laid in my academic studies.
That I selected medical science as my major in college entrance examination was partly because I loved organic chemistry and psychology and more importantly because I had an impulse of emotion on a medical errand during my senior middle school days. My mother once suffered from acute pain in the abdomen. My father and I rushed her to the hospital. A young doctor diagnosed her case as ureteral calculus, and gave her a pain-killing injection, but to no avail. The doctor seemed helpless, and shrugged off the patient. I could do nothing, but silently witnessed my mother's painful facial expression. Right at that time there came a peasant who was bitten by a poisonous snake for first-aid help. But the doctor simply transferred him to another hospital, admitting that he could not cure any snakebite cases. Although my mother and that peasant got cured in the hospital later, the two incidents struck me so deeply with the idea: What a bad need for skillful, experienced and ethical doctors for the sake of mankind! Since then I made up my mind to study medical science and become a highly qualified doctor. That was why I abandoned the chance of being selected into the Chemical Department of Jilin University without entrance examination because of my distinguished scholastic aptitudes in the senior middle school. That department ranked second in the chemical departments of all universities in China, second only to that of Beijing University. Despite that golden chance, I applied for the medical specialty without any hesitation. Where there is a will, there is the way. In 1995 I entered Beijing University Medical College's seven-year combined Bachelor-Master degree program through entrance examination with prominent scores. I was awarded a scholarship as an outstanding entrant. This was a turning point in my lifetime. It left me an indelible impression, revelation and self-confidence. It taught me to make every effort to achieve my ideal and never to yield for the sake of an idle life. My conviction was that I would be successful so long as I have an ideal and self-confidence. It's the extra strength that men can always find within themselves when they know they must.
I first studied in the Life Science College of Beijing University and laid down a solid and extensive groundwork in natural science. The strong academic atmosphere fostered in me a spirit to crave for freedom and creation, a strong sense of mission and responsibility. Then I studied in the Medical College, where I grasped a wealth of basic medical knowledge, establishing a foundation for my clinic work in the subsequent years. I played an active role in the collegiate human body science association and psychology association, and in the creation of a medical student publication. Finally I studied and practiced in Beijing University's No. 1 Hospital, an eighty-odd-year-old modernized comprehensive clinical hospital for teaching and scientific research, and a key training base under the Ministry of Health. Here I further expanded my scope of medical knowledge, cultivated in me a spirit for meticulous and sophisticated academic thinking, a strong sense of cooperation and responsibility.
I chose as the subject of my graduation thesis the surgical treatment of the unstable degenerative lumbar spinal stenosis. Pain in waist and lower extremities is a common and frequently recurring ailment in China haunting some 22% of the population. In order to produce a well-written thesis, I consulted a large amount of relevant technical literature and undertook many field trips, conducting detailed investigations and collecting important data in order to make my thesis substantial. My supervisor evaluated my thesis as excellent and the propositions that I raised in the thesis are not only of tremendous social benefit, but also displaying its pioneering value among the peers abroad.
Meanwhile, I developed great interest in pathology, regarding it as the golden standard, the compass and the reliable cornerstone for clinic work. The discipline seemed to expose me to the vivid scenes of the organic human body fighting against the virus, and to the surgeon rescuing the healthy organisms of the human body. For me, the noblest ideal of life is to be able to save the life of my fellow creatures with my own efforts. The readiness to save another's life (sometimes even at the expense of one's own life) constitutes for me an especially precious human virtue in this modern world, which is replete with violent confrontations and mutual brutality. What a medical professional can do to compensate for such adversity is by mastering the necessary technical expertise which he can apply for the purpose of alleviating the sufferings of his patients. We can trace pathology back to ancient Greek Hippocrates. It has now ramified into the modern organ pathology, cellular pathology and molecular pathology. With the establishment of many new and marginal faculties, pathology has achieved a breakthrough in its cognition of diseases at the level of cells and sub-cells. It has now penetrated into the realm of particles, genetic mutation and chromosome aberration in the cognition of diseases. I am determined to confront this new challenge and stand on the crest of the tide whereby I shall make some meritorious service to mankind. A burning desire is kindled within me to further my medical studies in the United States, the leading country in the world in the development of science and technology.
My application for pathology is motivated by the following considerations: 1. to develop a good command of the latest knowledge in the field of pathology which only the United States can offer; 2. to be well-trained in the acquisition of advanced research methodology and ideology; 3. to accumulate sufficient practical experience with which to achieve important breakthroughs and make new discoveries in my chosen field; 4. to construct a firm basis, both theoretical and empirical, for my future career. In order to realize the foregoing objectives, I intend to include the following activities in my prospective study plan: 1. mastering the fundamental theory and knowledge in pathology; 2. actively participating in laboratory work and acquiring advanced research methods; 3. discovering issues of interest and following the latest development and the literature in the related field; 4. consulting senior professors for valuable advices and exchanging ideas with my fellow students for the purpose of improving myself in collective activities and offering possible assistance to others; 5. extensively integrating myself into American society as a whole and expanding my cultural horizons.
I cherish great admiration for George Washington who, as Commander in Chief of the colonial armies, led the American people to win a war that most considered impossible. He readily offered his service to his country when the American people most needed him. His selfless contributions to his country derived from his strong sense of national responsibility, his fortitude and his spirit of perseverance. When he retired from his office, he devoted himself to his family and worked as an ordinary farmer on his farm in Mount Vernon. He has reached the state which ancient Chinese sages summarized in the words: To own the whole empire when accomplished and to perfect his own self when secluded. I admire him for his bravery and self-confidence. At the same time I love the Chinese melody High Mountains and Flowing Rivers." In my pursuit for the ultimate meaning of life and for academic ideals, I believe I will find some perceptive minds who will be keenly appreciative of my talent at he homeland of George Washington on the other side of the Pacific Ocean.