Disease can deprive us of the blessings of life: being independent, doing what we love, and pursuing happiness. Witnessing certain people in my family not being able to enjoy these blessings was really dismaying. My grandmother could not speak or walk properly due to a stroke, but effective primary care improved her condition. Therefore, medicine might not return these blessings to us, but proper healthcare can give us a chance to strive for a better life.
Though healthcare has a vast scope, what steered me towards medicine is my curiosity for science. Throughout my study of O and A level Biology, my professor complemented the theory with medical case studies like sickle cell anaemia, chronic bronchitis, and Huntington’s disease. This approach not only fuelled my fascination for the “whys” and the “hows”, but also made my studies more relatable to medicine. To the same effect, books such as ‘Fragile Lives: A Heart Surgeon’s Stories of Life and Death on the Operating Table’ extended my interest in cardiothoracic surgery beyond the bounds of the curriculum.
Moreover, my Outstanding Cambridge Learner Awards in O Levels – Top in the World in Biology and Environmental Management, High Achievement in Geography, and Top in Punjab in Pakistan Studies – truly reflect my determination and dedication to academics. As a result of this distinction and my innate enthusiasm for science, I secured a spot in a summer research project at the Centre of Applied Molecular Biology; University of the Punjab. In this project, I am investigating the polymorphic variants of genes associated with asthma in Pakistan’s population. In this practicum, I have also acquired valuable laboratory skills like running gel electrophoresis, setting up polymerase chain reaction, and sequencing and analysing DNA. In the future, I will be publishing my findings in an online journal for high school students.
To experience the challenges of a career in medicine I volunteered at a local hospital, assisting doctors and nurses in providing hospice care. Although it was a poignant experience, each time I engaged with a patient, making their day just a little better by talking to them or consoling them made it remarkably gratifying. The perseverance of doctors, even when a patient’s condition deteriorated, inspired me to give it my all caring for these patients. Perhaps the most heart-breaking lesson I gathered from this is that no matter how much we wish to help others, sometimes things are just out of our control. Additionally, to contribute back to the society I volunteered at Rizq, a social enterprise which aims to feed the hungry. Working in groups, we linked the underprivileged to potential food donors, designed food banks, and surveyed the city. In such a collaborative environment, team work was essential; therefore, I contributed to the effectiveness of the team by being open to discussion and critique. These communication skills will be cardinal in my chosen profession.
As the Head Boy and the Science Society President of my school, I founded the Robotics Club and trained teams that won awards in national science events. This initiative demonstrates my commitment, as I saw the project through to its completion. Hence, these positions helped me gain vital leadership skills that would be beneficial in this profession.
My passion to help others, the ever-evolving nature of medicine, and the prospect of further research have inspired me to choose this field. Despite the sacrifices I will have to make, my academic prowess and dedication coupled with the skills gained from work experience will be imperative in overcoming the challenges of a medical career.