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Through my exposure to the medical field and other experiences in the community, I have developed a strong desire to undertake a career that involves giving back to the community with medical knowledge. My determination to be in this field began at 10 years old, after being diagnosed with supraventricular tachycardia. Capturing my palpitations and enable a diagnosis was a difficult process, but my cardiologist was so invested in my condition and never once failed to put me first. He understood who I was as a person and tailored treatment specifically to me, while balancing my therapy and its compatibility with life. I formed a solid relationship of trust and admiration for those involved and ever since, have wanted to give back to the community in the same way.
My desire to be a part of the medical field led me to organise an observer-ship with my family’s general practitioner. I put a lot of effort into organising the work experience to make the process as easy as possible for my GP and was very grateful for the opportunity which allowed me to deepen my knowledge into this career, as I saw not only the rewarding aspects of it but the difficulties as well. Every patient brought a new story into the room, and the efforts made from my doctor to address his patients’ agendas as well as form a positive relationship with them has very much inspired me to become a practitioner just as thorough and caring.
Medicine is an example of the crucial interaction between science and society, which is what I love about it. It is a dynamic career in which everyone involved can continue to learn throughout their time in the field, as medical options are evolving quickly being up-to-date with literature is essential, and I’ve always been someone who loves to learn. The constantly evolving environment is one I would love to participate in. I perform best when partaking in something I am passionate about. My first experience being able to give back to the community in a way very similar to my cardiologist, was volunteering at a Resthaven nursing home during the holidays with some school friends at 15. Initially, I was nervous approaching the work because the age discrepancy between the patients and me was going to be significant, and I was aware that communication in these situations can be difficult as a result. I was determined to perform well in this setting, because it was an opportunity for me to immerse myself into a community and develop not only as an individual, but as a citizen. I loved speaking with the various diverse patients that resided in the home and my communication skills improved vastly, particularly during my shifts in the dementia unit. Social situations can be very difficult for some of the patients in this unit and it was so incredibly rewarding to be able to improve their daily life just with a simple conversation. This also led to an understanding around deficiencies in rural areas, such as a lack of people to connect with emotionally, which can be difficult for citizens who cannot take care of themselves. I was able to assist residents in daily activities, and gained an immense appreciation for the conversations I had as I listened to the life experiences of people who had grown up in completely different environments to myself. The whole experience equipped me with skills needed to interact with those seeking emotional and medical support and I have a better understanding now that rural citizens would be very appreciative of having someone to speak with and trust. Studying medicine at James Cook University would be the ideal next step to build on this, as the best university in the world for reducing inequalities and a leading indigenous research institution, I would be incredibly lucky to study there. JCU graduates are well-regarded as ‘ready to work’ in a rural environment due to their clinical experience in rural places such as Townsville, Darwin and Cairns. Extended placements in small, remote communities and a variety of rotations makes JCU the perfect tertiary institution for someone like me who wants to work with disadvantaged communities in the future. It is a socially inclusive university and its network of connections with remote indigenous communities, businesses and industries will be extremely advantageous to me, and James Cook University will be one of my top preferences for studying medicine next year.
Working as a remote doctor is an incredible opportunity to apply knowledge from my degree to improve one of Australia’s most pressing public health concerns, “closing the gap” between the health outcomes of Indigenous Australians and other Australians. The burden of disease in Indigenous Australians is alarmingly disproportionate to the general population along with access to primary care within remote communities. Coronary heart disease for example, is the leading cause of death for Indigenous Australians and instances of heart disease in these communities are five times more likely than in other Australians. Many of these deaths in indigenous populations also unfortunately occur at young ages. I strongly empathise with the many families who cannot access the treatment needed to manage often seriously debilitating chronic illnesses, many of which are easily preventable. As a medical professional, I would willingly take responsibility for working with the Indigenous community to reduce the healthcare discrepancy, while benefiting from the personal and professional satisfaction of making this contribution.
Working in rural and remote locations would be very beneficial to me as there are more opportunities to learn independence and participate in medical procedures. As I am determined to work as a practitioner in rural communities in the future, the connections I will have made at JCU will be very valuable and I plan on graduation with a network of people I am comfortable practising with. Studying and practising medicine in this location will also allow me to gain knowledge around which areas need more support so I’m able to narrow practise into areas and fields of need relevant to helping the disadvantaged as best I can. I have been a passionate musician and academic student my whole life. From the age of 7, I have played cello, achieving an A+ High distinction in my Grade 7 AMEB Cello exam in 2016, completing the SACE stage 2 solo performance subject in 2018 as well as being an active member of the Adelaide Youth Orchestra and South Australian State Music Camp for 5 years. Playing cello to an advanced level, has given me the ability and determination to overcome challenges through many hours of practice and hard work. I have experienced the feelings of satisfaction and accomplishment in my playing, as a doctor would in helping people through the practice of medicine.
Throughout my years playing for the Adelaide Youth Orchestra I have learnt how to be a valuable and respected member of a team and perform to the necessary standard expected by my peers. I have enjoyed playing both school and club level netball throughout my teenage years which has also helped me understand the importance of being part of a team and enabled me to develop long-lasting friendships. Participating in high school music ensembles has also given me the opportunity to undertake a mentoring role for beginner string-players during rehearsals.
I would love to immerse myself in the JCU community in the same ways and make valuable contributions to student life. Music has always been a passion of mine, so making connections through musical clubs or groups would be a priority to improve the well-being of myself and peers. I also feel strongly about the importance of sustainability and environmental conservation in all aspects of life and would do my best to encourage this at JCU throughout my studies, possibly by taking initiative to organise events and charities at the university.
In closing, I am extremely passionate about medicine and James Cook University would be the ultimate next step for me to study and work rurally. Writing this application has been an eye-opening experience, allowing me to reflect on my aspirations, and I am very appreciative of the consideration for my position as a medical student at James Cook University.
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