Unanswered [3] | Urgent [0]
  

Home / Undergraduate   % width Posts: 3

Neurosurgery Issue of National Concern- Harvard and Yale Commonapp essay


neuro 1 / -  
Dec 21, 2009   #1
Gudday. Please I am in need of urgent and real critique of my comon application essay. Please I will welcome any and all suggestions on the content, manner of approach. What do you think it says about me. Thank you guys in advance.

question is: Discuss an issue of personal, local, national, international concern and its importance to you.
NB:I am an international student so this means so much to me.

Why should such a beautiful baby die? Time after time, I searched my mind for an answer but none is forthcoming. How I wept for thousands of babies like this that have died in our "dark" part of the world? I felt the pain of the birth flaxen mother, who for the sake of giving her polygamous husband a male heir risked a ninth pregnancy that she would lose to ignorance and wrong customs. The cause of the baby's death was a mild "hydrocephalus". As explained to me by the nurse of the rural clinic where I volunteered. It is when the lubricating fluid of the brain has refused to circulate and has become concentrated in one side of the brain, causing swelling of the affected part. She further explained that a minor neurosurgical operation would have successfully corrected it and saved the baby's life. But instead of the parents taking him to a standard hospital, they chose to go to the village's unqualified health assistance. She incised the affected part, making the brain to bleed profusely and thereafter leading to the baby's death. The irony of the situation was the nurse's declaration that the baby might have died even if they had taken him to a hospital. According to her, neurosurgical expertise is a "scarce commodity" in the country. "What?" I was shocked by her words and I needed a reassurance that the situation is not as bad as she implied.

So I launched into a research about the profession in my country. And in confirmation of her words, I discovered that between the year 1993 and 2008 only a neurosurgeon was added to the pre-existing fifteen that make up the "Nigerian Society of Neurosurgeons". However, the population of the country has increased from one hundred to one hundred and fifty million within this same period. Dr J.K Emejulu of the College of Health Sciences, University of Nigeria, affirmed in his article "Neurosurgery in Nigeria: An evaluation of the perception of Health Personnel", posted in the Nigeria Journal of Clinical Practice Volume (4) 2008, that the neurosurgical manpower and facilities are grossly inadequate in the country. According to the study, there is much indifference about the profession within the tertiary heath institutions. This, he noted, to be as a result of not only poor funding, but also lapses in the administrative policies in the country. Thus, it is quite clear that the profession suffers possible extinction, and the prospects of aspiring students in this profession is not only limited, but also uncertain compare to those of their counterparts in advanced nations.

The government, in its own rights, has argued on its seeming neglect of this medical field by citing notable sources like" Harvey Williams Cushing, M.D", that a proportion of one neurosurgeon to one million populations is adequate. It further argued that the alarming rate at which infectious diseases and other public health problems are increasing has called for using a huge portion of the sparing health budget on them, thereby reducing the attention that specialized field like neurosurgery will get. This was also backed up by the encouraging supports that the 'Primary Health Care 'and 'National Health Scheme' often garners from international organizations and corporations. Another of its argument in support of its default towards field like neurosurgery is the overwhelming cost of training a neurosurgeon which often requires sending the trainee abroad, of importing sophisticated equipments and facilities and of recruiting specialized support staff. These are seen as too unrealistic for the government of a developing nation. More so that some trainee sent abroad refused to come back, thus, contributing to the brain drain in the country. All these arguments by the government seem logical, yet the fact still remains that it has failed in its duty of equity and equality of all citizens. A third world country like Nigeria cannot compare itself to the developed nations because road traffic accident- a result of deteriorating transportation system- is a norm rather than the exception. Head and spinal injuries, which is often the outcome of these accidents, have called for the specialized skills of neurosurgeons. Do the unfortunate victims of this bizarre accident, whose number has already escalated compared to that of the epidemic infectious diseases, have to die because of the discrepancy in government policy? While in actual fact, these primary health care projects are mainly embraced because of the international aids they attract, and which serves to enrich the "pockets" of some dishonest government officials. Nevertheless, some selected few close to the top officials have the opportunity of government sponsorship for neurosurgical treatment abroad when the need arose. This is a benefit that if embraced in the country should be available for all. Also, the increase in mortality rates and the steep rise in the growth of the population have demanded more for specialized services of pediatric neurosurgeons.

Moreover, its incompetence in other important sector like the education is palpable. The educational sector suffers from acute under funding, resulting in an unstimulated intellectual environment. The lecturers are not encouraged to give their best in instructing students because of grossly inadequate teaching facilities and poor remunerations. So, it is not uncommon for industrial actions spanning for few days and months to be called for. Just recently, the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) started a strike action unabatedly going for months with no hope of resolutions soon. Others are leaving the profession for job placements either in corporations or in neighboring countries. The result is a weakened education system with disenchanted student population. Although this is unpatriotic and ingratitude to generations unborn, yet they are justified based on the government lapses in the country. Thus, it is quite clear that the neurosurgery profession is suffering from possible extinction as few aspiring students are interested in entering a discipline with specialized professional training as obtainable in modern medical profession.

In view of these, I discover that I am faced with a difficult decision. Since that day of seeing the baby died and feeling the aging of the mother, I have desired much empowerment to preserves the innocent lives that are in most cases referred to as "evil children" because of their abnormalities and in other cases given unqualified medical attention which often leads to their deaths. I am aware that the path less trodden by human feet is often challenging. This is significant of any successful endeavor. I have determined to get this education that will adequately prepare me to help the underprivileged ones who do not have the luxury of travelling for treatment abroad as enjoyed by government politicians that actually formulate shortsighted policies for the country. I know I cannot effect this transformation alone but I hope to drive this passion further by actively involving others to fight in this crusade of change in the health service quality and policy. I long for a better country, where human life is considered sacred and public health care delivery is seen as not only essential to the well being of the nation but a measure of her wealth.
Notoman 20 / 419  
Dec 21, 2009   #2
I only have time for a few comments, but let me getting you started ...

the birth flaxen

This is kind of an odd description. "Flaxen" is a plant that is used in the making a linen. It can also be the color of linen, but it generally isn't something that we would use to describe a person--their hair maybe, but not a person.

wrong customs

Again, "wrong customs" would not generally be used here. You could say, ill-conceived customs, dangerous customs, backward-thinking customs ...

a mild "hydrocephalus".

I don't know why this word is in quotes. Generally speaking, you would only put a words in quotes if a) it is a quote b) you are talking about a words ... "Recalcitrant" is my favorite word, or c) if you intend it to mean the opposite of what is being said ... she said that she was going to Hawaii for "work." If the word is a foreign word that is not commonly understood in English or if you want to give it special emphasis, you can italicize the word ... I really love tacos and mate cocida (I didn't italicize the word "tacos" because it is readily understood in American English). In the case of "hydrocephalus," I wouldn't put it in quotation marks. Even though it is a technical term, it doesn't fit the criteria. AND ... in American English, the punctuation goes inside of the quotation marks while in British English it goes on the outside. When applying to American universities, I'd stick to the American conventions and put the punctuation inside of the quotation marks if the issue comes up elsewhere.

As explained to me by the nurse of the rural clinic where I volunteered.

This is a fragment.

It is when the lubricating fluid of the brain has refused to circulate and has become concentrated in one side of the brain, causing swelling of the affected part.

You don't really need this level of detail in a college-application essay. The word count is tight--use it to sell yourself instead of educating the committee.

the village's unqualified health assistance.

People in the U.S. aren't going to know what this means. You might want to use different words that would better convey your meaning to someone in the States. Is the person a healer? Is it a clinic with unqualified staff? Does it have more to do with the level of care available (lacking the facilities at the local level for things like brain surgery)?

She incised the affected part, making the brain to bleed profusely and thereafter leading to the baby's death.

This sentence is a little long and clunky. Try something like: She incised the brain causing profuse bleeding that led to the baby's death.
EF_Kevin 8 / 13,321 129  
Dec 23, 2009   #3
This essay is so powerful and appropriate, you did a great job with it. Eric noticed some important things, but in the bigger picture this is a powerful expression of your intention to help.

...discovered that between the year 1993 and 2008 only one neurosurgeon was...

This long sentence can be managed with the use of a dash:
I have determined to get this education that will adequately prepare me to help the underprivileged ones who do not have the luxury of travelling for treatment abroad -- as enjoyed by government politicians that actually formulate shortsighted policies for the country.


Home / Undergraduate / Neurosurgery Issue of National Concern- Harvard and Yale Commonapp essay