Fear brimmed in my mother's eyes as she whispered intently with my father in the corner of our kitchen. I was a senior in high school. My 8-year-old sister, Lizzie, had been unquenchably thirsty, urinating frequently, and her normally bubbly personality had dimmed dramatically. The symptoms were clear signs to my father, a trained anesthesiologist. After taking her to the hospital, my parents' fears became a reality. As Dad had suspected, Lizzie was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. This day marked the beginning of a life-long trial for my sister, and is a day I will always remember. Seeing the training my father received in medical school come to life in our own family in the care of my sister was a pivotal experience for me. I saw a purpose to life that I hadn't seen before - serving others in moments that matter, in ways they cannot help themselves. From this day forward, I have thirsted to fulfill this purpose in my own life. My compassion for those in need, coupled with my desire for meaning is what sparked my unchanging ambition in pursuing a career in medicine.
While many experiences have played a role in confirming my desire to become a doctor, perhaps the most pivotal moment came one afternoon in the damp heat of the Dominican Republic. In a small village tucked high in the mountains, surrounded by jungle foliage on the banks of a river, we located the palm-frond ramada where we were to settle our mobile clinic for the day. As patients arrived, I assisted the doctors in providing wound treatment, medication, advice, and a listening ear. Around mid-day, a patient named Elisa hobbled slowly into the clinic. A woman in her early fifties, Elisa had worked from sunup to sundown for most of her life. Upon conversing with her, I learned that weeks prior, Elisa had punctured the sole of her foot as she worked. Unable to afford time away from her duties, she endured the pain as she worked each day. Over time, the wound grew wider and deeper as infection intensified in the tissues, with no proper cleaning or covering. Upon observing her condition, the doctor informed us that the wound was greatly infected, deep, and needed immediate attention. As the doctor informed her of his need to clean out her wound with tools, Elisa's face became blank with fear. Noting her anxiety, his assistant and I took her hands and reassured her that everything would be well. As the doctor treated the wound, removing the infected tissue and fluid, Elisa grimaced with pain and clung tightly to our hands. After her wound had been dressed, she was given an antibiotic and invited to rest her foot before returning home. Before we could move to prepare a place for her to rest, she quickly embraced the volunteer and me who had "endured" with her, thanking us with tears in her eyes and words of gratitude pouring from her heart. The pain of the wound was not just physical pain. For Elisa, her wound brought with it grief and worry, in that she feared she would be unable to work if her foot did not soon heal. As I conversed with patients like Elisa that day regarding their difficulties, I realized that we were not just providing treatment to patients. While our clinic offered much-needed medical attention, more importantly, it offered a symbol of hope for this small community. This hope is what I seek to emulate as a doctor.
Undergraduate Degree: Brigham Young University-Provo - Bachelor of Science, Biophysics
Graduate Degree: Midwestern University-Glendale - Doctor of Medicine, Osteopathic Medicine (DO)
ACT Composite: 30
ACT English: 33
ACT Math: 32
Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behavior: 130
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