Hello, everyone! I am applying to a Perfusion program that has no specific requirements for their personal statement. I suffer from an autoimmune disease that severely impacted my grades during Undergrad, and I think that is important. However, I do not want to come off as "woe is me", I'd rather tell my story as a success story (which I believe it is!). My autoimmune disease is a HUGE part of why I want to go into medicine, and though some sources say not to mention things like this, I do not believe in sugarcoating my reasoning - but I certainly don't want my application thrown out. Please let me know what you think, any revisions, etc. Thank you so much.
Prompt: Provide a Personal Statement.
Having a natural affinity and interest in medicine is not new for me. In fact, it feels as if it has been present all my life. Though, my relationship with it has changed immensely since my first conception of the idea. I was diagnosed with Dermatographic urticaria from a young age - a harmless skin condition where I can essentially "write" on my skin. As a child I regarded it as something of a friend, something magical that made me want to know more about other rare medical conditions. Little did I know, my curious and fond relationship with rare conditions would be flipped on its head as I entered my sophomore year of college. I became sick, so sick some days I could not leave my dorm room, and after months of tests was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis, or UC for short. UC is a form of IBD that affects a person's entire body, but is localized to the large intestine where the immune system attempts to destroy the organ. It is a disease even rarer than Dermatographic uticaria, and took my childlike curiosity with medicine and turned it into an unrecognizable, frustrating, and hopeless uphill battle.
Education has always been at the forefront of the list when I stop to consider the things that are important to me. I excelled in school all my life - in gifted programs, advanced placement, all the things expected of a future academic success story. My freshman year of college I came just shy of finishing with a 4.0 GPA. College was the most important thing to me, and then Ulcerative Colitis hit me out of nowhere.
I spent time in hospitals, in doctor's offices, in cancer centers, desperately trying to keep up in school as I suffered malnutrition and lost more than twenty percent of my body weight. It took a year and a half to find a drug that could control my severe symptoms, and another half a year for those drugs to begin to work. During all this, my concept and love for medicine was severely tested. I felt betrayed by the medicine itself I had once regarded with such wonder and fondness. This betrayal came in the form of an expensive, slow-acting chemotherapeutic infusion that proved to be wholly ineffective after an entire year of administration. Since then, I was prescribed a new chemotherapeutic infusion that has been effective, though the high price-tag makes me ever grateful for my health insurance.
Despite my luck with health insurance, I am constantly thinking of other people. What of the people in my same situation who do not have insurance? Are they doomed to live a life of pain and disability? It is this very thought that convinced me I cannot give up on medicine. Medicine has proven itself to me personally to be a wonderful thing; I am able to leave my home, to exercise, to enjoy my life, all because of medicine. I want other, less fortunate people, to experience this freedom medicine has provided me. It is because of medicine that in the spring of my senior year I felt I was able to begin again. With my head clear and body free from pain, I finished with two published research papers and a semester GPA of 4.0.
Ulcerative Colitis changed my relationship with medicine for the better. I want to see other people thrive, to see medicine change their lives, on a personal level. I believe my relationship with medicine is why Perfusion draws me in the way that it does. Perfusion is a way to give back to medicine, to affect another person directly, and make a direct and important change. Rush University's message particularly emphasizes on the use of real-life application of medicine. This resonates with me on a deep and personal level, and is one of the leading reasons I want the Rush University name at my back as I make my way into the professional world of Perfusion. For me, medicine has impacted my real life more than anything I've ever known. I want to know what I do not know yet, and I want to broaden my understanding of medicine in the real world. With Perfusion, and the reborn concept medicine at my side, I can begin again once more.