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Helping pregnant women and babies - postbaccalaureate prehealth essay


gmendoza05 1 / -  
Nov 19, 2014   #1
I am currently applying to career changer prehealth postbac programs and am need of some feedback for my essay. Overall, the prompts from multiple programs are asking about the motivation and decision to change careers at this time. While schools have varying word limits, approximately 500 words seems to fit the majority of applications.

Some background on me: I was premed in college (graduated in 2005), decided to not go the medical route, and pursued a masters and career in public health instead.

Any feedback would be much appreciated! Thanks everyone for your time. My essay is as follows:

Primary infertility, trisomy 21, and anti-phospholipid antibody syndrome runs in my family. At 30, my otherwise healthy sister in the Philippines was diagnosed with multiple reproductive failures during her first pregnancy. This led to a stringent regimen of Heparin, IVIG, Imuran, amino acids, and aspirin to keep the fetus alive. Despite aggressive medical care, she went into premature labor. Three-pound Baby Sebastian spent a month in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). Unfortunately, my sister also suffered a postpartum infection leading to systemic shock requiring intubation, intravenous medications, and a tracheostomy. My family and I corresponded with her doctors, and utilizing my public health background, I helped advocate for my sister. After a long thirty days, they were discharged home.

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EF_Sheri - / 27 22  
Nov 19, 2014   #2
Overall, you have crafted a well-written essay. You have a strong grasp of how to use phrasing to strengthen points and convey ideas/messages. Awesome job!

Recommendations begin with the second and third sentences in the first paragraph. I suggest simplifying and combining the two sentences, instead of starting the third sentence with "this lead".

You might want to add a comma and "leading to a stringent...". Also, I don't recommend using names in this type of essay. Instead: "Weighing only three pounds, the baby spent..." or "The baby weighed three pounds and spent..." would be a better choice. In the third paragraph, change "strengthened" to "strengthen".

Further suggestions:

Primary infertility, trisomy 21, and anti-phospholipid antibody syndrome runs in my family. At 30, my otherwise healthy sister in the Philippines was diagnosed with multiple reproductive failures during her first pregnancy. This led to a stringent regimen of Heparin, IVIG, Imuran, amino acids, and aspirin to keep the fetus alive. Despite aggressive medical care, she went into premature labor. Three-pound Baby Sebastian spent a month in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). Unfortunately, my sister also suffered a postpartum infection leading to systemic shock requiring intubation, intravenous medications, and a tracheostomy. My family and I corresponded with her doctors, and utilizing my public health background, I helped advocate for my sister. After a long thirty days, they were discharged home .

I also experienced medical challenges when my son presented with a fever of unknown origin immediately after birth. He then became hypothermic and transiently apneic, morphing a joyous experience into one of consternation. My husband and I spent countless hours caring for our son in his incubator in the NICU and discussing diagnostic tests and antibiotic treatments with the medical team. Though we were initially disheartened, the compassion, dedication, and knowledge of the hospital staff lifted our spirits and made us trust in a positive outcome for our child.

It was through these daunting but rewarding experiences that I reexamined a career in medicine. Becoming a physician would enable me to provide the same level of care these doctors afforded my family and deliver effective treatment. I would be able to utilize my public health background to contribute to strengthened health systems at both the national and international level. My work experience arms me with a unique understanding of many levels of the health system. On an interpersonal level, I embraced the secretary of health's philosophy of fostering a working relationship between health professionals and the people during my work on maximizing health outcomes of pregnant adolescents in Brazil. At the community level, I helped shape AIDS service organizations and community health center programs for Americans living with HIV, designed a program for treating obstetric fistulas in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and implemented a program to decrease the prevalence of cardiovascular disease in the Philippines.

To solidify my interest in medicine, I completed an EMT course. While shadowing EMTs, paramedics, and emergency department nurses, I administered oxygen, assessed blood pressures, took patient histories, applied 12-lead ECGs, and transported patients. My devotion to learning the material and focused approach in emergency scenarios instilled confidence in me to take on the academic rigors of a post baccalaureate program and medical school. With hard work and education, I know I will reach my future career goals: attending to hospital patients in the morning, consulting with health and humanitarian agencies in the afternoon, and spending time abroad each year designing and evaluating health programs. I eagerly look forward to the day when I can help alleviate my patient's concerns, provide effective treatment, and improve and expand health care for all.


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