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One of my college professors has told me on the last day of his class “choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” While he certainly did not invent the phrase nor was he a stranger to long hours on the job, this thought has resonated deeply within me over the years. Now as I begin my journey for professional career, I can truly appreciate the meaning of this declaration. I believe if you find your home in the professional world, no matter the length of your workday or the hardships you face, there will still be no place you would rather be. I feel so fortunate and thankful to have found that place in pursuing a career in internal medicine. This specialty will allow me to embrace what I am most passionate about: life-long learning, critical problem solving, teamwork, and empathy for fellow mankind.
I came to medical school with the vision that doctors were superheroes with vast knowledge about innumerable ailments. My desire to become one of these people was encouraged when my loved ones turned to me for medical advice. My father called to ask about the benefits and side effects of his hypertension medication, my college friend inquired about the meaning of an abnormal pap smear, and my sister questioned whether she should begin medical therapy for rheumatoid arthritis. I was initially attracted to the field of medicine because these are the types of conditions I wanted to master and be able to treat. Of course, there are many respectful paths in medicine, but I firmly believe Internal Medicine provides an intermediate level of specialization that requires a thorough knowledge unlike the breadth in other primary care specialties. Therefore, I realized Internal Medicine was my true calling because it was the only specialty that allowed me to have such a broad, yet solid foundation.
As an innocent third year medical student just beginning clinical years, I was thrown into the challenging world of Internal Medicine. Through the two months of my clerkship, I immersed myself in the pathophysiology of many diseases, diagnoses and treatment regimens of the patients I was assigned to follow. I can vividly remember my first ICU patient, an elderly woman who was suffering from complications of congestive heart failure and diabetic nephropathy. Every day at around six, I would make round to her room, check up her condition overnight and perform a physical exam. The patient came to see me as an integral component of her care during her stay at the hospital and trusted me to be compliant to medical advices and her medical treatment. From her, I realized that not only the pathology of disease is important, but also building the rapport- that special bond between physician and patient also contributes to patient’s successful treatment.
Throughout my clerkships, I have been inspired countless times by many internists, especially by their impressive knowledge base, but more importantly by their humility and compassion shown while delivering patient care. I also believe that my reasons for entering internal medicine align with my original reasons for entering medical school. This path will allow me to be a vital role in the human experience. We, as physicians always see people at their worst and in periods of great need. This is a time where a physician’s impact is not just clinical. An internist has the remarkable ability to influence a patient’s life; they serve as a confidant and a guide through suffering. Each patient has their own unique stories, and internists have the incredible opportunity to listen and to use that to guide the diagnosis and treatment as a team with the patient. The ability to pursue such beautiful relationships with patients makes me feel fortunate every single day that I have been given the chance to pursue a career as an internist. By choosing this career path I know that I will be highlighting the strengths I see in myself and will continue to develop the traits I admire in the internists mentioned above.
I firmly believe that I have the intellect, skills and talents necessary to succeed in your internal medicine residency program. I value leadership, teamwork, honesty and ethics. I am ready for any challenges and bringing a true sense of commitment, integrity, enthusiasm and ability to your program. I feel privileged to have learned from so many dynamic physicians during my clerkships, and look forward to continuing to do so as a future resident at your internal medicine program.
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