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My Interest In A Challenging Medical Career

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My passion for medicine stems from a long-standing interest in genes and genetic disorders. This interest was increased when I attended a ‘Biology in Action’ event and heard a compelling talk exploring how early detection of oesophageal cancer is enabled by genome sequencing and how this can result in life-saving treatment. I would very much like to put my love of science to good use in helping people to overcome illness through studying for a degree in Medicine. During work experience at a local hospital, I witnessed bowel surgery where complications arose causing pressure as surgeons battled with an unexpected occurrence and the anticipated length of the surgery increased dramatically. This showed me the vital role of teamwork and how stressful the hospital environment can be as a workplace. However, I also got to see the gratitude patients extend to doctors and was particularly moved watching a baby being born via emergency c-section. Attending a pre-med course, I vividly remember one doctor describing the emotional turmoil faced when having to inform the family of a close relative’s death. This opened my eyes to the challenges that doctors face and how important it is to show integrity and take a systematic approach.

Volunteering with disabled children, I have gained experience in putting my empathy to good use. Receiving training in how to understand and communicate with the young disabled people has been immensely valuable and inspired me to learn Makaton. Through this training, I also appreciate and understand the importance of confidentiality. Listening to a BMJ podcast on medical ethics, I was especially challenged by a discussion titled, ‘Infanticide is sometimes justified’. Initially, I was mystified by the title. However, as the discussion progressed, I was able to recognise the range of factors that can lead doctors to advise this termination and saw that in coming to a medical decision, it is vital to have a clear prior understanding of the range of positives and negatives.

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In order to improve my approach when being presented with ethical situations, I completed a MOOC on Bioethics. Here, I learnt to discuss with others via a forum, the key moral and ethical objections towards a chosen topic for instance, artificial insemination. Studying Physics and Chemistry has developed my problem-solving ability and shown me the vital importance of paying close attention to detail. In Advanced Level Biology, I have seen the complexities of the body, especially the circulatory and nervous systems where specific sequences of events result in the most minuscule of actions.

My interest in human anatomy and physiology led me to read an article on how chemotherapy damages the central nervous system and how it can affect cognitive function on a small and chronic level. Playing chess, I enjoy the opportunity to quickly identify and manage complex strategies and situations. I am also self-taught in playing the piano and driven by a determination to improve my performance. Achieving a bronze Duke of Edinburgh Award required me to work closely with a team to overcome obstacles in order to reach a common aim. I gained practice in goal setting and becoming adapted quickly to new environments. At school, I have the role of prefect and have gained experience in showing concern while listening to the concerns of younger students without always being able to offer solutions.

Medicine is emotionally and mentally challenging; my passion for science and helping others only drives me to meet these challenges head-on. By studying Medicine I aspire to gain a deeper knowledge of genetics and inherited disease in a way that will further shape our community and make a positive impact on people’s lives.

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