Hey I am applying to medical school in less than a month and would love to get feedback on this first draft of my personal statement. I now know I should have started LONG ago but I can't go back in time now! Let me know what you think.
"Beep! Beep!" the drive-thru sensor alarmed.
"Welcome to Rooster's. How may I help you?" It was the thirty-seventh time that night I had asked that question at my after-school job in high school. Rooster's was a fast-food chicken restaurant conveniently located down the street from my house. Before clocking out, I had a conversation with my thirty-seven year old manager, Carter, about him looking for another job because Rooster's was not paying him enough to support himself and he did not want to live with his mother anymore. As I clocked out, I saw him boxing up what was probably the only food he would have to eat at home that night. "I cannot live like this for the rest of my life, " I thought as I looked down at my greasy work shirt.
My thoughts quickly went back to Mrs. Nichol's fourth grade classroom at West Madison Elementary. Over a snack of Ritz Bitz cheese crackers and a Juicy Juice apple juice box, my friend Kaitlyn and I were discussing our life's goals. I decided I wanted to be a pediatrician because I loved kids and needed a profession that would be a support the type of lifestyle I wanted to provide for myself. Kaitlyn wanted to be a plastic surgeon. We both agreed to go to the same college and medical school, move to California to practice and be next door neighbors in our luxurious mansions. That plan soon became unrealistic as Kaitlyn and I got older and grew apart; however, it played a large role in the motivation I had to succeed throughout middle school and high school.
When I entered high school and had a little control over what classes I could take I found myself choosing science courses such as Chemistry and Human Anatomy & Physiology. I really became intrigued with the human body and how it functions. A class called Health Science Careers gave me the opportunity to be exposed to a variety of careers in the health field through researching the careers and shadowing. I realized that the health field offered the best combination of two things I loved: science and people. Acknowledging this was indeed the path for me, I entered into college declaring a major in Biomedical Science.
As I rode into the campus of Oakwood University, I noticed a sign on each side that read "Enter to Learn" and "Depart to Serve" respectively. I had no idea at that time that those words would shape and mold my desire to become a physician. Service is a universal theme at Oakwood no matter what club/organization you are involved in. My participation in various outreach experiences with different groups of people caused my eyes to be opened to an important life-long lesson: this world is not about me. It took me eighteen years to realize the motivation I had to be successful was driven by selfishness. Prior to college I was more interested in what medicine could do for me. Within one semester of being at Oakwood, my mentality switched to a desire to know what I could do for medicine. I soon saw my desire fulfilled by working with an Internal Medicine physician named Dr. Marlo Hodnett. I have been able to work with her all throughout my undergraduate education and have seen literally every patient leave her better than when they came. A transformation of their countenance would take place as she was treating them. I was amazed to see how she was able to combine the knowledge and skills she received in medical school with another tool that cannot be learned from a book-love. The love she has towards her patients makes them feel like a person and not a condition she is treating. She takes the time to talk to her patients and shows a genuine concern for their health. By watching Dr. Marlo I could see that it was not money that was driving her but her passion to better someone else's life through knowledge and training received in medical school.
Becoming a physician will allow me to impact individuals in the same way Dr. Marlo does. Physicians receive a certain level of trust and respect from their patients that will allow me to not only assist patients physically but emotionally. There is a song that says "If I can help somebody, my living shall not be in vain." I believe becoming a physician is the best career choice for me to make because it combines my love of science and people with my desire to serve others.