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During my rotations, I found the atmosphere of the Operating Room to be the most exciting, focused and satisfying of all the settings in which I trained and was immediately attracted by the idea of becoming a surgeon. However I was cautioned by an experienced surgeon that, although many people were attracted to surgery because of the romantic view of it provided in fiction and the movies, they often did not really consider the unique demands involved nor did they satisfy themselves that they truly possessed the very special characteristics required of an excellent surgeon. I determined to take his advice and to do some thorough research and exercise great care before seeking to pursue the specialty both for my own benefit and, more importantly, that of my future patients.
It becomes quickly obvious to any observer that an operation is a piece of effective teamwork. I love working in a team and I am active in team games such as cricket, I know that a well organized team is much more than the sum of its parts. I have also been a team leader and know that confidence and decisiveness are required to lead a team well and that I possess these qualities. I come from a family of engineers and am ‘imprinted’ with some characteristics that effective engineers and good surgeons share; both are goal oriented and need to be very precise; complex problem identification/diagnosis is the basis of their work followed by the identification of effective and ‘elegant’ solutions; and both must exercise patience and perseverance to reach their goals. It is also very relevant to the application to mention that I get along easily with colleagues and patients and possess a well developed sense of humor. I have become aware that interpreting, and responding appropriately to, non-verbal signals from patients is an important area of expertise and is a skill that I hope to develop in my work. I have observed many doctors at work and the thing that seems to me to separate the ‘good’ from the ‘excellent’ is that in addition to caring for the patients, the latter also cares about them and the patients often seem to be intuitively aware of the difference. It is my intention to be an excellent physician and surgeon, not merely a good one.
Having confirmed to my own satisfaction, at least, that I possess the characteristics required and then considered whether or not I would find this work satisfying over a whole career. I am attracted by: the ‘hands on’ nature of the work that separates it from other branches of medicine; the need for highly developed diagnostic skills; the need to apply problem solving skills; the autonomy of the role; the fact that it involves team work; the ability to see and measure the results of my work and to interact with patients; the opportunity to sub-specialize once I have some experience; and the variety of the challenges faced each working day. I conclude that I suit general surgery and general surgery will definitely suit me.
I know that cultural sensitivity and awareness is vital in those providing healthcare. I have happily studied, worked and socialized with people of many cultural and social backgrounds. I look forward to extending this experience during the residency.
I am seeking a Residency that will provide readily accessible support together with increasing autonomy as I progress. I also seek exposure to widely diverse conditions and patient types. My particular interests are in Cardiothoracic Surgery and Trauma/Critical Care. I also look forward to an opportunity to teach and share the benefits of the skills and knowledge that I have and will acquire during the Residency.
I know that there will be many well qualified applicants for residencies in general surgery but I genuinely believe that I am an exceptional candidate for the reasons stated. However, my main recommendation is a passion for general surgery and to improve the lives of many by learning and applying the skills and knowledge that I shall acquire during the Residency.