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Need someone to read &critique this SOP..applying for doctoral program in slp

anagha 1 / 1  
Aug 31, 2009   #1
I see the Doctoral Program at xxx as representing a unique opportunity for me to embark on a crucial new professional chapter in my life and be able to optimally prepare myself for a challenging career. This is the only program I am applying to as I feel it is the best fit for someone like me who does not have extensive clinical background in speech language therapy or audiology. Although my bachelors in medicine and surgery has already exposed me to the basic patho-physiology of speech, language and auditory systems it is the in-depth knowledge in these subjects that I wish to gain.

Communication disorders include a wide variety of problems in speech, language, and hearing. I am especially interested in the neurogenic communication disorders such as dysphagia and dysphonia. The current medical interventions having made it possible to survive longer, many age-related disorders such as Alzheimer's disease, strokes, hearing loss are expected to become prevalent as the population ages. At the other end of the spectrum as the survival rate for pre-term births increases this in itself being a good thing may lead to communication disorders later. I would like to focus my research on understanding of how the diffuse and focal brain damage disrupts complex language processes. Having masters in human nutrition sciences would also prove beneficial in developing new interventions including special diets for patients suffering from swallowing disorders and other debilitating conditions.

At present I am reading "Neurogenic Communication Disorders: a functional approach." by Linda E. Worrall and Carol M. Frattali as part of getting acquainted with the CSD program. The book has an interesting chapter about assessing functional communication in culturally and linguistically diverse populations. A population group to which I represent. The book mentions about how a patients culture and linguistic abilities can influence the rehabilitation. In many cases it is observed that a family member is better able to understand the patient, having a trained bi- or multi- lingual SLP would be in any case be better able to judge the patients linguistic and communicative performance. I think having a multilingual background will help me in my career as a SLP.

My other research interest would be the speech learning by infants. Having a 9 month old daughter who has just started communicating has got me thinking about how she understands what I speak to her. Considering the fact that she is being exposed to 4 different languages at home, it would be interesting to know if we are helping her development.

My work experience includes, 2yrs as a Family physician in India before coming to the US to do my Masters in Human Nutrition Sciences. My research at Master's level included controlling the diet of the study participants and measuring their cholesterol levels. I have publications in peer reviewed journals and have also done some poster presentations at various conferences. In the past year I have volunteered at the local free clinic as a laboratory assistant.

Apart from research I would also like to select study areas that meet the requirements for ASHA certification. My future goals include establishing a career in clinical research with some experience in healthcare settings. I am hoping the education I will receive at xxx put me in the right path to a successful career.
EF_Sean 6 / 3,491  
Aug 31, 2009   #2
This is refreshing -- a statement of purpose that deals, immediately and in detail, with the author's actual purpose. Good job. Your style could use some tightening, though, but I'll leave that for our contributors who enjoy going sentence by sentence. I would advise, you, though, not to open by highlighting a weakness in your application:

This is the only program I am applying to as I feel it is the best fit for someone like me who does not have extensive clinical background in speech language therapy or audiology.

Really, why point out what you lack when you can use the room to talk about all the skills and training you have, instead?
EF_Simone 2 / 1,986  
Sep 1, 2009   #3
Yes, but if this is the only program to which you are applying, do state that and give the reasons why.
OP anagha 1 / 1  
Sep 1, 2009   #4
Thank you for responding. The real reason for getting into this program is because its close to home. Other programs are in other city which would mean moving away from family-hubby and infant daughter and dont want to do that.

Other reason for the statement is I have spoken to the professors in the program and they know I have a very different background.
Is there any thing else I need to change. I am planning to work on the end paragraph, other than that do you think its ready to be submitted.

Thank you
EF_Simone 2 / 1,986  
Sep 3, 2009   #5
Yes, it seems fine, especially if you have already had contact with professors in the program and they are familiar with you.

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