Residency Internal Medicine, Personal Growth

I strive for excellence in all that I do, and the results are incontestable. The results exhibit knowledge that is thorough, understanding that is complete, and speak of a passion for unrivaled success. Am I competitive? Certainly. In this day and age where there is a high degree of competition, I feel I must do all I can to stand out amongst the myriad throngs of students vying for those precious few positions available. And then, there are my personal maxims for unrivaled success.

Personal growth has been as important to me as my aspiration to become a doctor. I wanted to attain a balance in my life by involving myself in various extra-curricular activities. One way I achieved this was by playing volleyball and cricket for my university team. I wasn't satisfied simply being a player of cricket or volleyball; I felt the passion to lead a team. I maintained the position of a captain for both the volleyball and cricket teams for three of my university years. Many leadership lessons learned or implemented on the pitch are just as transferable off the pitch, in the professional arena. Truly, my leadership skills were put to the test when I was given the honor of being a platoon commander in the Republic Day Parade at New Delhi, the most prestigious event organized by the Indian army. Through these experiences, I have not only gained leadership skills, but have also learned how to work in a team and build extremely efficient relationships.

For the last seven years I have been a part of the medical community. Even before I narrowed down my choice of specialty to Internal Medicine, I was firmly on the path to becoming a medical doctor. It began with the PULSE Polio Immunization Program, a program that I spent three years with, working as a coordinator, motivator and service provider. Any good doctor knows that prevention is better than cure, and I dedicated myself fully to this program, be it through passing out pamphlets, or helping with televised advertisements; humble beginnings, but the seeds had been planted. I continued my volunteer work by working at Blood Donation Camps, an AIDS Awareness Campaign at XXXX medical school, and analyzing the reasons for the prevalence of flourosis in Nalgonda district. Indeed, I used my volunteer work as a way of connecting with doctors and conducting research on their behalf or under their supervision.

These past two years I have interned in four locations. The experiences have been incredible, diverse and challenging and have only cemented my determination to join the field of Internal Medicine. My educational background of medicine and radiology has proved to be an excellent foundation for the work I have done, yet nothing in the classroom compares to working with doctors, nurses, technicians or the patients they serve in primary health care centers, hospitals or surgery situations.

Excellence in medicine means not only staying well-practiced, but staying current as well, which is essential for patient care. This is something I take very seriously.  For the past five years, I have attended and participated in presentations, and national conferences, including the national doctor's convention (PULSE). By participating in these events, I have not only continued my education but have been able to interact with other doctors, health care providers and exhibitors.

Internal Medicine as a specialty occurred to me while doing my internship with the diagnostic radiology department of XXXX Hospital. Not only was I exposed to a great number of diagnostic studies and modalities, I deliberately acquainted myself with various procedures such as hysterosalpingogram, transcatheter embolization, vertebroplasty, cerebral angiography, coiling of the aneurysm, removal of inferior vena cava filter and various CT-guided procedures. I was very much impressed by the way certain life-saving procedures were done with minimal invasion and from then on I have been working in the department of radiology at various hospitals trying to learn as much as possible. As I studied further, it occurred to me how profoundly similar the approaches to medicine are within the disciplines of Internal Medicine and Interventional Radiology. Both specialties aim to be as minimally invasive as possible, preferring instead a non-surgical approach, and a greater reliance upon drugs or other therapies.

One can only get so much experience and knowledge from text, so I have actively increased my exposure to Internal Medicine by participating in medical student directed lectures and conferences.  I find the lectures and conferences more dynamic, an extension of the classroom, a place where I can interact with professionals, and find answers to my questions rapidly, or as a tantalus for more research. I have seen nothing that underscores the importance of this specialty more than the increasing ability to correctly diagnose through complex investigations and apply non-surgical techniques so as to subject a patient to as little, and, frankly, often unnecessary treatment as possible. Accuracy of diagnosis of disease is paramount, and imagery increases accuracy, not surgical exploration. When you increase the accuracy of diagnosis, you increase the quality of medicine and care.

I spoke earlier of my need to be the best in my chosen field. I have chosen Internal Medicine, and I received honors in my rotations, an accomplishment shared by very few, and have maintained an impeccable grade point average throughout medical school. I will bring to the field of Internal Medicine my passion for excellence and leadership, and will serve as a catalyst for the betterment of the field, for the benefit of our patients.

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