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A residency assignment in Internal Medicine and Pediatrics (Med-Peds) is more than just a logical progression for my career. Med-Peds fits very well into my strengths, experiences and education. Indeed, throughout medical school, I thoroughly enjoyed my time learning all that I could about Internal Medicine and Pediatrics. Combined with this is my love of children, and my passion for preventative and in-patient medicine.
I was first introduced to Internal Medicine whilst volunteering in Internal Medicine in the Emergency Room of a busy inner-city hospital during Hajj season, in KSA. Hajj is the largest annual pilgrimage in the world and is a time when our country sees thousands of pilgrims being flown in specifically for the purposes of reaching Mecca. Every year despite the many precautions taken, there are frequent accidents, but aside from this, many pilgrims are elderly, wanting to reach the fifth pillar of Islam before their time on earth is through. As a result, in the ER, I was fascinated by the sheer diversity of cases and the amount of direct patient contact. Working alongside attending Internists, I found the approach of dealing with the patient as a totality struck me as being sensible, and logical. Additionally, I loved working as a part of the multidisciplinary team of medical professionals. I was left knowing that academic medicine and inpatient medicine were where my heart truly lies.
My six months of Pediatric residency in a busy hospital in Riyadh exposed me to an incredible array of cases. Pediatrics is a discipline in which I will be able to intervene, change behavior patterns, and health outcomes in a very preventative and proactive way, as opposed to trying to change someone's ingrained life pattern. This is a reflection of my strong interest in Medical Genetics. During my residency, I was a large part in the counseling of mothers, and found this side of the experience stirred my interest in genetics and fetal anomalies as a part of prenatal diagnosis. I was left feeling that I had a great deal to offer in terms of genetic counseling.
I am aware of the commitment required by Med-Peds residents and anticipate working more than full-time in order to spend enough time on both sides. Challenges abound in both fields, but I look forward to working a block in a Pediatric ward and then admitting patients with an assortment of disease processes on the other side. Researching the Med-Peds field, I have been impressed time and again by the contributions Med-Peds physicians make to the community, representing the needs of both demographic groups.
In order to provide the best care possible for my future patients and to further refine my medical research skills, I decided to study in the United States, thus expanding not only my world view, but my expertise. The US health care system is quite different in several areas as compared to that of KSA. While I anticipate that access to medical technologies and resources and the level of sophistication is somewhat similar on both sides of the Atlantic, I believe that residency training in the US will make me a more dynamic and knowledgeable researcher, and further develop my abilities as a medical professional. Moreover, the educational experience will make me more flexible and adaptable to different clinical and research settings.