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I first expressed my interest in being a doctor when I was nine. My parents were amused yet permissive. To form a pragmatic picture of a profession in Medicine, I decided to volunteer for a few hours weekly, at an elderly nursing home. I engaged in entertaining a few of the more infirm elderlies. This brought to my attention the unpleasant side of Medicine. That while medicine, has exciting moments of discovery, it also necessitates facing the otherwise darker side such as patient frailties and discomfort. I also realised that I was able to cope with changing situations. I learnt to empathise and react accordingly to the elderlies’ thoughts and actions. I noticed the need to understand the unique requirements of each individual and the importance of building trust. I was awestruck by how elderly patients in the wards showed their respect and gratitude towards the volunteers, nurses and visiting doctors. This piqued my interest in being part of a dynamic field.
Additionally, I visited hospitals in different countries where I could clearly contrast the differences in facilities yet I noted the one commonality amongst the physicians; their sheer dedication when diagnosing patients. I participated in medical camps where I was able to carry out procedures such as virtual endoscopy, interacting with ‘fake’ patients and virtual open surgery. I was tasked to deliver observations to fake patients after having a session with experienced doctors to understand their skills. I was amazed by how they were able to deliver observations in a relatable and comprehensible manner – a skill that I wish to emulate in my own work. I also interacted with specialists and was awestruck by their dedication when they travelled at times unearthly hours to offer treatment, placing importance for work over personal matters. Having heard and seen their experience, I understand the career can be a taxing yet gratifying one. I understand that the field of Medicine is subject to frequent changes and advancements as scientists discover new trends and develop new methods to aid physicians and patients. This understanding spurred to sign up for a medical research attachment.
I understood that in the field of medicine, physicians are the beacon of trust and responsibility. I noted my ability to act responsibly when I became aware that the published results of my experiments directly impact the scientific community and to a larger extent the patient population. Even under these pressurising circumstances, I stood steadfast in my aims and lucidly devised hypotheses, planned experiments and analysed results. I realised the importance of teamwork in my journey. Independently, I could reach no stage of advancement. I learnt the need to work with my counterparts. Working as a pair necessitated an awareness of each other’s strengths and weaknesses, and to work to merge these in a way that potentiates our combined strengths and mitigates our weaknesses. Similarly, in the journey of a doctor, I understand the need to work together in assessing patient conditions and subsequent diagnosis. I also realise that conflicts may arise amongst physicians when ideas contradict coupled with the limited time to make the right decisions.
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