The Roots Of My Inspiration To Pursue A Career In Medicine

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A helping hand is never forgotten. Although the vocation includes long hours and the occasional challenging patient, witnessing the profound effects of medical teams on the lives, and deaths, of patients and their families has confirmed my desire to study medicine. To gain a deeper understanding I organized work experience in an Ophthalmology ward, shadowing experts providing care in a diverse range of scenarios. The contrast between Paediatrics and AMD clinics highlighted the adaptive nature of a medical professional in meeting the unique needs of the patient. I was inspired by the doctor’s caring approach to an autistic patient. His instant comforting reaction when the patient had an adverse reaction to bright light made it clear that the ability to respond to not only verbal but also non-verbal cues is equally important. Maintaining great technical expertise without loss of empathy requires the building of relationships of trust with patients.

The consultant shared an OCT scan of the damage caused to retinal blood vessels by hyperglycaemia in a diabetic patient. The challenges of a looming obesity epidemic, with the rise in Type II Diabetes, led me towards an EPQ researching the medical and ethical issues surrounding treatment of so-called self-inflicted diseases. Is it simply unethical to deny treatment in cases like these or even where the causes are more direct, as in smoking-related diseases or contact sport injuries, or should the NHS’ limited resources be used elsewhere? The EPQ process has enabled me to improve my planning and organizational skills, my flexibility to manage time, and my ability to research and analyze information from a variety of sources such as the BMJ and New Scientist.

An ageing population is another challenge faced by the NHS and the wider healthcare system. Volunteering for six months at my local hospice, showed me the efficiency but also compassion of the MDT, from the palliative care nurses to the bereavement counselor who supported the struggling family. This holistic approach was also shown during my GP placement, where a patient was having regular debilitating migraines. Alongside prescribing medication, the doctor went on to see how this affected their life, evaluating how it impacts their living situation and daily routine, really listening to the patient.

I particularly enjoy the Human Biology aspects of my A levels and my ophthalmology experience prompted me to read ahead. The difference in distribution of rods and cones in the retina, and their connection to bipolar cells, made me realize why AMD results in such loss of visual acuity. The opportunity to understand much more about the underlying cause of disease excites me. Maths challenges me to think logically and solve complex puzzles, and a tutoring position at Explore Learning has also helped me adapt my approach. This required consideration of each child’s needs and good interpersonal skills to communicate at the right level, both mathematically and physically! Gold DofE has greatly enhanced my ability to order and priorities tasks, and the expedition required perseverance to be successful as a team. Volunteering for the NCS program over summer required an appreciation of different people’s strengths as I took a lead in organizing an event raising £400 for a dementia care home. The reaction of the residents was rewarding and helped drive my desire to make a contribution through a medical career.

Years spent achieving my black belt required dedication and resilience. Martial arts demands composure and on-the-spot decision-making, skills I hope will help me in emergency situations as a medic, and allow me to relieve stress, another vital ability for a doctor.

The dynamic and diverse nature of medicine, and the continuous opportunities for scientific learning have inspired me to pursue Medicine. I understand the challenges it will involve but believe I have the skills and determination to succeed in this rewarding career.

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