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No one knows it when it actually happens, but we never forget it when it does; defining moments, those few instances in time when our destiny is laid out before us. For me, it was while growing up in a rural village in India. My father was our village's first doctor, and had served the community admirably. However, my father fell into alcoholism and watching his decline, I felt an odd mixture of feelings about him and his work. Finally, my father's catharsis was my revelation. A visiting doctor, a veritable stranger, upon seeing my father, recommended a program in our local hospital to get my father off of alcohol, a program my father succeeded in, and went on to operate a successful pharmaceutical distribution business. My father's successes both in overcoming alcoholism and in his career have been truly inspirational. Both my brother and I are seeking careers in medicine, and we've both encouraged others through community programs to pursue medicine as well. This endeavor earned me an Emerging Leader Award from RSB community for services rendered for educating youth in the community.
Even before being introduced to Ophthalmology in my rotations, I happened to take my grandfather to see an Ophthalmologist. I was fascinated by the doctor's ability to see a wealth of information in my grandfather's eyes: a recent change in eating habits, a stroke; assessing the entire body's overall functioning from peering into our most fascinating and outwardly beautiful organ. It was then that I decided to develop myself as a doctor of Ophthalmology. I was convinced that Ophthalmology was a specialty in which a patient is treated as an emotional and physical totality. While our vision is one more miracle of life that we take for granted, to many people it is the one sense they would least like to live without.
My medical education has been rich and varied and began with XXXX Medical College of XXXX University, a top-ten university in India with a worldwide reputation. Admission to Kasturba is fiercely competitive, and based solely on academic merit. Throughout my rotations with XXXX, I found that I was consistently drawn to Ophthalmology. My teachers introduced the specialty in a manner that was clear and, to my mind, beautiful, explaining the extraordinary process by which our sight is granted. Light in the form of photons is partly absorbed by objects and partly reflected. As this reflection enters our eyes, one of nature's greatest miracles occurs: the light becomes an electrical impulse, then converted into a chemical substance and transmitted to our brain, which then processes this chemical in order to create a perceived image.
My foundation in Surgery proved invaluable during my Ophthalmology rotation. Not only did I diagnose over a thousand patients, successfully identifying problems ranging from refractive errors to glaucoma and retinoblastoma, but I assisted in at least a dozen cataract surgeries every day of that posting. This rotation more than any other impressed upon me that this is where my true passion and, frankly, talents lie. To restore or improve a person's vision through corrective surgery is to add an invaluable quality of life, and I believe it is my gift to provide such care. I give back to my community, volunteering my time with eye camps across the state, helping paramedics diagnose cataracts, trachoma, and other infectious eye diseases. On a personal note, my ambidexterity, developed over the years through my passion for painting, will aid me immeasurably in surgical ophthalmology situations.Upon graduating, I joined with the XXXX Institute of Medical Sciences as a faculty member. While my duties were with general medicine and surgical specialties, time and again my feet would lead me to the Ophthalmology department. In my own time, I expanded my clinical acumen to include Ophthalmoscopic examination skills, especially the dilated fundus examination, and learned of the general diseases afflicting the eye. It is my intention to conduct research into the various diseases afflicting the retina and cornea, those areas in which corrective surgeries are usually most effective. I am no stranger to research, having led a team of five interns while we researched the incidence of Hepatitis-B among paramedical staff in India. Additionally, I have been a Research Assistant for my head of department, collecting data and statistics from medical records within our hospital.
I was impressed by the need for a meticulous attention to detail required in research work and am glad I have had the experience. Any good doctor knows that prevention is better than cure, and I used my latest position to the greatest advantage to accomplish this aim. As a Resident Medical Doctor with XXXX Hospital, I organized mobile eye camps, giving the more rural populations access to tertiary health care and was able to screen patients from the general population. In addition to these outreach programs, I assisted senior doctors in cataract surgeries, enucleation and squint surgeries in quite possibly hundreds of instances. Overall, though, my experiences with XXXX Hospital have helped practice and perfect my basic clinical skills as well as gaining invaluable experience in the surgical theatre. I have a through background in in-patient and out-patient medicine, conducting normal duties, suturing episiotomies and managing trauma and emergency cases with ease. With experience comes greater responsibility, and I'm proud to have been the only resident authorized by our Chief Surgeon to manage and handle patients in ICU.
I have a desire to be a part of a more stimulating and challenging system of education, which places emphasis on thinking and one, which does not stifle merit and creativity. For me, the right path has been answering questions like: What am I really good at?; what do I like doing?; which Institution can foster the kind of knowledge that I have gained in the undergraduate program at the Kasturba Medical College?; am I aiming sufficiently high. Or have I forgotten Joel Hawes famous words, Aim at the sun, and you may not reach it; but your arrow will fly far higher than when aimed at an object on a level with yourself.
My objectives of joining a residency program in Ophthalmology are clear-cut. I want to acquire competence in the discipline chosen and acquire it in-depth. I want to hone my intellectual faculties; to ask questions fearlessly and seek answers with persistence; to develop individuality and conviviality and to learn for collective good. I can achieve these objectives only in the right environment, and in the program offered for study in your institution. I also believe that I have better chances of updating and scaling up my knowledge in your facility.