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Personal Statement for LSHTM - MSc Int Health and Tropical Med

Xti02 5 / 16 9  
Dec 10, 2017   #1
Personal statement requirements:
- Why do you wish to take this particular course of study?
- Why are you applying to the School?
- How does it fit into your career objectives?

Maximum 500 words.(There is no requirement for a statement of purpose, only a personal statement).

my input in a fight with dangerous infections

Early during my medical studies, I read the autobiography of Judge Edward Cameron, in which he describes his personal battle with HIV, as well as the difficulties South Africans faced in the early years of the fight against HIV/Aids. I was horrified at the power of the virus; intrigued by the pathophysiology; dismayed by the lack of timely government response to the growing epidemic; fascinated by the rapidly growing variety of treatment options. I didn't realise it at the time, but the seed had been planted for a keen interest in infectious diseases.

Several years later, I was working in a rural provincial hospital in South Africa, and I was struck by the numbers of patients still presenting with advanced disease - Aids, Tuberculosis, Hepatitis and malaria being the most common. Despite all the advances made in prevention, diagnostics and treatment, somehow these patients still slipped through the many cracks of the health care system.

One particularly interesting patient of mine, with a co-infection of multi-drug-resistant strains of both HIV and TB, proved to be another catalyst. I wrote up his case and was accepted for a poster presentation at the SA AIDS Conference in 2017. During this conference I was exposed to some of the brightest minds in the field of HIV and TB. The scope of work being done amazed me and inspired me to play an even bigger role in the fight against HIV and the associated opportunistic infections.

My first contact with the work of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine was at the INTEREST Conference in Malawi. Presentations of some of the findings of the STAMP and STAR trials, as well as conversations with School alumni left a lasting impression. I was inspired to become a part of this community and to empower myself as best I can for improving the South African health care system in my province.

The MSc International Health and Tropical Medicine is the perfect course for my needs and interests, providing a combination of clinical infectious disease studies, programmatic and public health approaches, and research skills. After obtaining this degree, I would be equipped to establish an Advanced Clinical Care centre in my province, which would care for patients with complicated HIV, TB and other opportunistic infections. Additionally, I would be able to conduct high quality research based on the theory and practical skills gained during the course.

Infections like HIV, TB, hepatitis and malaria may be devastating, ruthless, catastrophic, merciless. But with the right commitment, knowledge and skills, they can be managed. They can be controlled. And they can be beaten. I want nothing more than to play my part in achieving this goal.

==> 446 words
Isabellaalmeida 11 / 26 5  
Dec 11, 2017   #2
Hello, Christi!

I think your essay perfectly answers the first and third topic, but you could improve the second one.
I suggest you to emphasize why the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine is, in particular, right for you. What does it have that any other institution has? The idea is showing that this school is intrinsically necessary for you to achieve your goals. You could also mention specific professors and on-going research in order to show that you took close attention to what the university offers.

I wish you the best of luck with your application!
Holt  Educational Consultant - / 14,797 4780  
Dec 11, 2017   #3
Christi, your response to the first prompt is so long winded, it takes more than 50% of the page to read and it still does not properly represent the motivation that you have for your interest in this course. The autobiography that you read is useless in this presentation since it was not the major seed that planted your motivation to study infectious diseases. In fact, it is a mere afterthought in the sense of your presentation so it would be best not to present that at all. What you should be discussing, is when you were first exposed to infectious diseases. What was the situation? How did you feel at the time? What interested in the subject then? How would you like to change the course of treatment of the patients in the future? Do you have any other reason that you would like to use as part of the reasons as to why you wish to study this course? This is the motivation portion of the presentation. So be bold and discuss actual motivations beyond the autobiography. Use the information about working in the rural provincial hospital. Develop that presentation to show a clear foundation of your interest in this field, then relate it to the results of your enlightenment after attending the SA AIDS Conference.

The reasons you have for applying to the school are very vague. So vague that even after repeated readings, I have not yet uncovered the reason why you chose this university in particular. There is no deep sense of connection between you and the university offerings or capabilities to train the students except the shallow and narrow focus that you present. We need you to go deeper into the presentation. Show a familiarity with the course curriculum, the professors, or even the training programs. Something that shows the reviewer that you did your homework and you are prepared to do the work as required of the masters degree students at the university.

When you discuss your career objectives. You must first present the information about what your future career plans are. After you explain your plans, that is the only time when you can add information about how the training you will receive at the university will help you achieve these career goals. Don't discuss in terms of what you hope to learn and how you hope to apply it. Instead, tell the reviewer what the plans are for your future, and how the training assures you of successfully dealing with the plans that you have. It is not a case of "I will be" but rather "I am going to", the latter being a statement of conviction and belief in oneself in relation to your chosen masters major.

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