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PharmD, Korea, Veterans, Agent Orange

From the time I was in high school, I was certain my future was in medicine. Excelling in the sciences, I found myself increasingly attracted to and at ease with math, chemistry and biology, and even in my spare time, would pore over biology textbooks, ever broadening my base of understanding of our inner workings.

While my home life was not what can be called disadvantaged, it was clear that if I was to go to college, I needed to be proactive in charting my own future. Entering into the armed forces offered me the chance I yearned for, to develop myself further, and to step from the graduation podium relatively debt-free. And yet, it was in the line of duty, in the most unlikely of places on earth, thousands of miles from everything I had ever known, that my feet were irrevocably placed on the path of Pharmacy.

Operating heavy wheeled vehicles and serving our nation as a combat lifesaver in Iraq, I aided in the treatment of our soldiers in live combat areas, literally on enemy lines. I will never forget one soldier under my care, suffering from dehydration. As my comrade and I attended to the soldier, we took stock of his medications, which included a standard anti-malarial drug as well as Raptiva. As we set him up with intravenous fluids, I asked him about Raptiva, to which he replied it was for psoriasis. Looking over his uncovered body, there was no sign of psoriasis. Knowing that my sister back home suffered from severe plaque psoriasis, I later researched the drug, finding that it was, at the time, a new drug. When I returned home, I told my sister about the drug, made some phone calls and got the medicine for her. While the injections were expensive, the results were fantastic. To this day, she shows no signs that she ever had psoriasis. I was left with an intense sense of personal satisfaction, one that I wanted to always feel from my professional work. A career in Pharmacy would enable me to reach out to others in my community, with the same level of compassion as for my fellow comrades, family, friends and neighbors.

Earning my PharmD will also open the possibilities of researching medicines, seeking cures for illnesses that currently have no cure, such as Alzheimer's and XXX. Moreover, having served in Korea for a year, I was shocked by the ongoing problems, particularly horrific birth and developmental defects that remain to this day from the use of Agent Orange in the 19XXs. What greater display of our humanity or sense of responsibility could we possibly offer than to aid in the amelioration of lives, lives unintentionally affected, some forty years post-war?

In truth, I cannot go forward in my career without remembering our veterans. There is a distinct and growing need for qualified and quality healthcare professionals within our XXX Centers, serving veterans who not only count on their healthcare services, but also deserve the finest care available. I bring with me to the PharmD program a solid academic foundation in pre-pharmacy and Biological Science coupled with practical, real world exposure within the XXX Medical Center. My firsthand, direct contact with our veterans, helping them understand their medications, as well as working as direct patient contact as a medical assistant in four locations has proven to myself that the source of the fire within me, that I am on exactly the right path. Additionally, I bring a worldview that has been forever changed from my travels, working and being educated across the globe, work that has developed my ability to adapt quickly to differing set ups, to be resourceful and to think on my feet. 

XXX College of Pharmacy is my sole choice for further academic development. No other school could offer me the same relevance of curriculum, access to resources, stalwart faculty and complete preparation for the opportunity and challenge of a career in Pharmacy. Indeed, attending XXX I have only heard the highest praise for XXX and am convinced that XXX's faculty are teachers I want to learn from, and serve an accomplished student body that I would benefit from interacting with. Thank you for your time and consideration.

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