Although I have already submitted my personal essay, I would like to get feedback to improve my writing. Thank you!
Black fur, red paint, and a purple broken racket; my uncle yelling while doctors and nurses surrounded me, rapidly speaking in a language I could not understand, pinned down on the hospital table and being spoken to in broken English. "No move," I remember the nurses begging me. But I was curious. I wanted to see what they were doing to me, and I knew a part of me was being cut off. I remember struggling against the nurses who held me down and their frustrated attempts to communicate with me. I wouldn't give up. 'It doesn't hurt, I want to see," I kept repeating in my best Tagalog efforts.
At long last one of the nurses gave in; she lifted her hold and helped me sit up. I remember watching as the doctors cut away the skin the dog had managed to bite off, watched as my leg was cleaned and sewn together. I don't remember anything of what was happening around me, just the soothing voices of the nurses holding me up and the doctors nodding encouragingly at me every so often as they worked on my leg. Traumatic would be the ideal description of this experience, but instead I was fascinated. I had no idea what was happening, yet I knew they were all trying to help me.
This was my earliest hospital experience and although still a child, started my interest in science. To be specific, my fascination with science is attributed to the battle scar I was left with, a portion of my skin that could be pinched or poked that produced only numbness, no pain. It was my conversation starter and my child self considered it a trophy of sorts. The scar would not only influence which university I would attend, but also my major in Biomedical Engineering and my concentration. I wanted to explore the causes and effects of nerve and tissue damage, and the Cell and Tissue Engineering concentration at the University of **** was a perfect match. My internship at the **** Institute supplemented my undergraduate education and enabled me to get hands on experience with cellular research. Working with Dr. **** to study the downstream pathway of **** served to increase my interest in children's health care. As an MD-PhD, Dr. ***** not only instructed me with my research efforts, but also discussed his interactions with his child patients, their symptoms and diagnosis. I came to realize the importance of medical research and its applicability to real world patients.
Sophomore year I realized that it wasn't the scar that had led me to focus my education on science - it was the memory of the experience. My interactions with the nurses and doctors, the patience they displayed, and their efforts to communicate with me. As a child, I have always struggled with communication; my family moved frequently and there was not enough time for me to master any particular language. I learned and quickly unlearned Tagalog, English, and Arabic, creating a language barrier that served to isolate me from my peers. Thinking back to my experience as a child in the province clinic, I remembered the nurses and doctors who put so much effort to communicate with a child who knew not a word of the provincial dialect. I realized then the humanistic aspect of being a medical provider. They didn't have to accommodate the child who knew not a word of Tagalog, yet their efforts, though unappreciated at that time, helped me to remain calm and unafraid of the situation.
Volunteering at the pediatric unit further allowed me to observe the relationships between doctors and patients, and I could not help but to compare their interactions to my experience. The doctors modified their tone and jargon for the child patients, and although a language barrier existed for me in my past, the process of communication was identical. Owwie, booboo, and physical imitations are used to describe cuts, bruises, and location of pain; and although comical at times, this communication approach serves as an important tool in the doctor's diagnosis.
My volunteering experiences, my major and concentration, and the research I participated in has not only given me a broader appreciation for all the components upon which medicine is based upon, it has also reinforced my desire to be a doctor. I believe that my experiences in exploring different aspects of science and basic medicine has made me a more-well rounded person, making me equipped to realize my primary goal of enhancing communication and helping those who might not otherwise be able to communicate for themselves. I plan on using a medical degree to improve doctor - patient communication across the dimensions of both age and culture.