Neuroscience Personal Statement
Submitted by Dorothy
Seven years ago, I witnessed the deterioration of my grandmother's health due to cancer; I realised how fragile a human being can be and I learnt that the medical profession is not only about anatomy and diseases, but it's also about valuing the psychological effects of diseases upon a person. As I accompanied my grandmother to a number of hospitals, I was in awe of the professionalism shown by the doctors. This led me to read more into Medicine and choose it as my future vocation. The decision to study A Levels in the UK was not an easy one as English is not my native language but I positively thrive in a challenging environment and this is reflected in my A Level performance to date.
Studying Chemistry and Biology has developed my practical and analytical skills. For example, completing titrations and dissecting a heart has taught me that accuracy is a critical skill as every extra step can lead to undesired consequences. Even if things did not go as planned, it was important to reflect on my mistakes and learn from them. Liverpool University's Further Maths Support Programme has enhanced my problem-solving and teamwork skills. It also taught me that the journey is just as important as achieving the goal. Such skills are really important for a doctor, as it is essential for them to know their limitations and to know when they have to ask for help. My wider reading about Medicine motivated me to undertake the EPQ. Inspired by the North-West Cancer Research Scientific Symposium, where recent discoveries in the treatment of melanomas were discussed, I focused on the effects of sunscreen on health. I realised that a product that is strongly recommended to protect us from the negative effects of the sun can lead to an accumulation of harmful chemicals, such as oxybenzone, which can lead to endocrine disruption. Thus, I perceived the massive importance of continuous research for a doctor, as research reveals more information daily.
As doctors are scientists, I decided to visit the Hunterian Museum in London to research the complex nature of human beings, from the evolution of babies to the effects of different diseases and pathologies. It made me conscious of the importance of observing the minute details, as they make the difference in diagnostics.
Volunteering as a St John Ambulance Cadet has allowed me to interact directly with patients. Working together as a team to achieve the well-being of patients is so satisfying. Empathy was a must-have trait, as we have to think like the patient in order to make them feel at ease. This shows the importance of patient-centered behaviour, as all the patients are different and we have to holistically treat the person, not just the symptoms.
Attending a medical summer school introduced me to a range of medical procedures used to treat injuries such as lacerations that I have witnessed as a St John's Ambulance cadet. Talking to doctors also made me appreciate the academic and empathic skillsets needed to treat patients in a critical state.
Teaching English to children living in a Romanian foster home has not only developed my communication and understanding of child behavior but also made me aware of some of the disadvantages some people face due to their social background. It made me realise that treating people equally is essential for a doctor. Planning events for Interact, an NGO which asks volunteers to give back to the community has made me more organised and responsible; essential traits required in the medical profession as doctors have to make decisions that will affect people's lives.
From my past experience I learned that difficulties are the ones that make you thrive. I am looking forward to encountering these difficulties on this life-long learning journey, as they are the experiences that will make me learn more and become a better doctor.