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During my early childhood, I was exposed to sick and injured patients who came to my parents for medical aid. My parents are not physicians but rather anthropologists who provided basic medical care in a rural village in India where I spent more than two years growing up. Not only did I see what a large impact simple medical intervention could make, I was also able to witness a great deal of disfigurement that could have been prevented by adequate treatments for leprosy, ulcers, and common wound infections. Quite often in the Third World countries we visited, those who were begging on the streets had grossly deforming dermatologic disease, among other medical problems. While I obviously was not cognizant of it at the time, I believe this unique exposure to skin disease laid the foundation for my current interest in dermatology.
What attracts me to dermatology is the need to use all of one's senses to diagnose and treat skin disease. This is true of dermatology perhaps more than any other field. I enjoy utilizing my visual and tactile skills for the recognition of particular skin configurations, morphologies, and distributions. I also find it quite satisfying, after having treated a patient, not only hearing a patient say he or she feels better, but seeing the disappearance or improvement immediately in front of me rather than hidden in a lab value. The blend of clinic time and procedural time, mix of patients of all ages and both sexes, ambulatory setting, and continuity of care are all additional appealing aspects of the field to me.
Making me a good fit for dermatology are not only my interest and attraction to the field, but my aptitudes as well. I have manual dexterity, displayed during my clinical rotations-- no doubt helped by many years of playing the flute. I have also found that I relate well to patients. I look forward to counseling, educating, and listening to my future patients. Detail-orientation and thoroughness are also strengths that mesh well with the field. These skills helped me as a researcher, in microbiology and statistics coursework, and clinically.
If it were possible, I would combine my clinical work with research once having completed residency. I have been involved in research since early college and have maintained that involvement throughout medical school. I was awarded a research scholarship after the first year of medical school which led to a publication and presentation.
My adaptability to new situations has evolved from my world travels and involvement in a wide range of activities from musical groups to sports teams to varied jobs. This trait has enabled me to quickly become a contributing and enthusiastic member of a team. I look forward to putting my goals and dreams into action and to being an asset to your program.