When I was young, I suffered from asthma. I found difficulty in coping up with such sickness especially whenever I sleep. I experienced difficulties in breathing. Sometimes, I cannot breathe at all. I tried to seek for medications and went to hospitals but to no avail. I surely thought that I was going to die of asthma. When I was rushed one time to the hospital’s emergency room, the doctor told me “If you want to stay off the medication, there is only one way: to swim. ” My mother immediately followed his advice and enrolled me in intense swimming courses before I was even old enough to fear the water.
After moving to Vietnam, the swimming lesson paid off because I was not only able to deal with my asthma, I even joined the school’s swimming team and won medals for interscholastic competitions. To top it off, I have become more conscious about my condition, more than anyone else. I know when to use my inhalers and how to prevent asthma attacks through adjustment in my lifestyle. Whenever asthma attacks me, I dream of becoming a doctor one day and treat asthma patients like me. Through my struggles with my condition, my knowledge about asthma has widened.
At the same time, my interest in medicine and treatments of diseases has also broadened. As a student, I excelled in subjects like science and mathematics. I was never led astray by my dream of becoming a doctor until I reached my high school years. I am bothered by the admission process in medical schools. I felt that I cannot make it to the medical training. So, I decided to pursue a career in research. It was summer before my senior year in high school when I qualified as one of the six students into the Research Apprenticeship in Biological Sciences Program at Cornell University.
I was responsible for the research on proteins involved in vesicle trafficking in Prof. Ruth Collins laboratory. During that time, I was determined that I will become a researcher. Since my freshman days at Berkeley, I have been collaborating among graduate students in Prof. Randy Schekman’s laboratory on the in-vitro reconstitution project of multi-vesicular body formation. I really enjoyed working in the lab; it gave me opportunities to test almost limitless hypotheses. My grandfather’s death caused by diabetes and high blood pressure during my sophomore year unexpectedly made me realize that I should be pursuing a career in medicine.
I began to recall my grandfather’s memories when I used to accompany him to the hospital. I was watching the doctors carefully whenever they apply treatments to my grandfather. I was imagining myself wearing the white coat of doctors. At home, I took care of my grandfather and pretended to be a doctor, and made sure that he received proper medication. This experience of role playing made me very happy. My experiences made me overcome great obstacles that took me to where I am now. I was able to swim miles and miles since my training days in order to recover from asthma.
I dedicated my weekends to perfecting my English skills since I transferred from a local Taiwanese school to an international school in Vietnam. I devoted a great amount of time to gain admission to college here. I also committed a large portion of my free time to do research project in the lab. I feel so numb for giving up my dream so easily. I realized that medicine is my true calling. I am passionate about it and I should not be discouraged by the difficulties ahead of me. I believe that the Field Study Internship can further enhance my passion in medicine.
It will certainly be very different from my research experiences. I am looking forward to work as a volunteer at Alta Bates in the near future. FSI would definitely be a unique and enjoyable yet educational experience as I become more trained and exposed to duties in this field. Assisting a doctor will provide me first-hand experiences in the medical career. I am looking forward to do the rounds as well as to observe how the treatments are administered. I would like to see how doctors respond to emergency situations in the ICU. I would like to observe surgeries in the OR and actions in the ER.
Most of all, I would like to have a taste of the experience of medical school clinical rotations. I believe that the FSI experience will confirm my passion in medicine, and it will be a rewarding experience to me. After listening to the experiences presented at the info session, I have found what my true calling is. 2. Bacterial infection had killed millions of people around the world. If the “magic bullet” was not discovered to control the bacterial infection, it would have killed even more people. The discovery of penicillin and other antibiotics that soon followed made the bacterial infection more easily curable.
However, more and more strains of bacteria are becoming resistant to the antibiotics that are used nowadays. According to medical surveys of CDC, only 0. 02 percent of the pneumococcus strains that causes pneumonia were penicillin resistant in the 1980. Today, more than 7 percent of these strains have developed resistance to penicillin. It is a 350-fold increase in less than 30 years. The exchange of genetic material in bacteria is fast and the turnover of bacteria is even faster. This shows that antibiotic resistance has increased dramatically since its first applications.
The pressing health issue about antibiotic resistance significantly continues to grow. Antibiotic resistance currently poses two major problems; it has become more difficult to treat bacterial infections and it heightens the risk of acquiring infections in hospitals. Heavy use of antibiotics is administered on critically ill patients who are vulnerable to infections. But this accelerates mutations in bacteria that bring about antibiotic resistance, and produce bacteria that are able to survive even the strongest drugs. Thus, diseases like tuberculosis, gonorrhea, and ear infections have become more difficult to treat.
Vulnerable patients are more likely to become infected with even stronger antibiotic-resistant bacteria hospitals. According to the CDC statistics, nearly two million patients in the United States are infected in hospitals each year, and more than 70 percent of those infections are resistant to at least one of the commonly used antibiotics. In the short term, antibiotic resistance is driving up healthcare cost, increasing the severity of diseases and the death rate from infections. Incorrect application of antibiotics is a major contributor to the increasing resistance, including the use of antibiotics to fight viral infections.
Antibiotics specifically target bacterial infections, not viral infections; it will not fight colds, flu, bronchitis, or runny nose. There is obviously some misconception about what the uses of antibiotics are. You would think that doctors would know better, nonetheless more than 10 million courses of antibiotics are prescribed each year for viral infections, to which antibiotics have no effect! I believe that doctors should adopt the “wait-and-see” approach when prescribing antibiotics; doctors should confirm that the infections are bacterial before prescribing antibiotics.
Otherwise, it will not benefit the patients, while resistant bacteria continue to develop. The less obvious usage of antibiotics is in animal farming, which constitutes about 70 percent of all the antibiotics used! Careful application of antibiotics in hospitals alone will not solve the entire problem. Industrial farmers and ranchers have been using tons and tons of antibiotics for both medical and non-medical purposes, and argue that antibiotics are necessary to ward off diseases and to promote growth.
These antibiotics are used in gross amounts as additives in the feed given to health cattle, pigs and poultry, and leave as waste into the water supplies, and eventually recycled in the food chain. Thus, we should restrict the use of antibiotics in animal farming to only when necessary. We should not take antibiotics for granted; antibiotics have saved countless lives, but their misuse will come back to haunt us. I think it is important that we understand the use of antibiotics, and why its appropriate use is essential.
If we continue to abuse antibiotics, we will eventually build a bacterium so potent that every drug to our knowledge will have no effect against it, which could lead to a major epidemic. Although antibiotic-resistance might seem like a distant threat, the danger is much closer than we imagine. Excessive use of antibiotics in animal farming has introduced antibiotics into our diet and water supplies. Therefore, the impact is not limited to the medical field alone. Moreover, we oftentimes fail to consider the environmental impact of using antibiotics, such as the use of atrazine.
Still, it is too early to say with certainty what the long-term consequences will be from the circulation of antibiotics in the food chain, but right now, we are selling the bullet-proof vests against our “magic bullets”. 3. Being part of the high school varsity swim team is also part of my non-academic experiences. Only a few know how I persevere to swim a hundred miles in order for me to overcome my asthma. It was indeed a great experience because not only I was able to bring prestige to our school, but I was able to recover from asthma as well.
Studying at an international school has also enhanced my proficiency in English. From studying at a traditional Taiwanese public school, I had to enrol at an international school where courses are taught only in English. It was really difficult to adjust to such as drastic change. However, I believe that every goal that a man wishes to attain comes at the right time and with great purpose. Thus, despite the difficulties, I was able to learn to speak and write in English fluently. Classical music is one of my forte. I was the lead violinist in our high school string orchestra.
I was also the lead clarinettist in our high school concert band. I have performed in numerous concerts and events, and I have been playing music for more than eight years. After all those triumphs, no one would expect that I have failed very first violin performance examination. I found it hard to deal with the failure because I never experienced any failure before. As I didn’t know how to respond to it, I was dumbfounded. I felt depressed and baffled. I thought that, maybe I didn’t have as much talent as I believed I had. There was even a time when the thought of giving up violin came across my mind.
However, as stubborn as I was, I refused to give up. In the end, this stage of my life made me better, not bitter. I became more eager and determined to do my best in the following year’s examination. I spent more hours practicing the scales and pieces everyday. The practice paid off: I passed with distinction, and have since passed examinations in the Associate Board of Royal Schools of Music. Experiencing failures makes a person feel normal. Committing mistakes and failing is only natural. Failure helps a person to become more than what he or she used to be.
When I failed my very first violin exam, I learned that playing the instrument is not only for the sake of passing the exam. Playing and learning more about the instrument should also come with enjoyment, passion, and love for whatever you are doing. Just like the field of music, there will be times of failure and difficulty along the road of medicine. I look forward with optimism that I will be able to overcome them. I see my personal and non-academic experiences as stages of growth that have helped me to understand my own potential and the road that I wish to take in life.
While vast opportunities are before me, I feel that my true calling lies in the challenging world of medicine. There are certain events which put my abilities to test and make me stronger. I believe that whatever those experiences are will serve me well in the medical career, because medicine is something that I enjoy most. It is something that I am passionate about and love the most. 4. Football or soccer is considered as the world’s most popular sport. It unites people in terms of emotions, fervors and celebrations. Football is more than just a sport; it is a religion for me.
I was raised in a family that does not have much interest in the said sport, especially my parents who disapprove me of playing football. They say it is a dangerous sport. Of course, danger is inevitable in this sport, as there is a high risk of getting injured. However, despite the potential risks and dangers, I did not quit playing, because it is something that I really enjoy doing in my free time. The most important factor in football is teamwork. My teammates and I works as a team to read my teammates’ plays, to make all the passes connect, and, most importantly, to score a goal.
All players in the team play crucial parts leading up to that goal, whether they are defenders, mid fielders or strikers. It is this feeling of being part of a team that I enjoy best. I am not physically built to play football, but my love for this sport has never diminished. Even though I did not make it to the high school varsity team, I played football throughout high school, and I still play football here during intramurals. On top of playing football, I have been following professional matches on sport channels intensely.
UEFA Champions League is the largest European club competitions in football, and the prize is considered the most prestigious club trophy in the world. 16 clubs go through the knockout qualifying rounds to join other 16 seeded clubs in the group stage, from which 8 winners and 8 runners-up enter the final knockout rounds, which finishes with a final in May of each season. The 2005 Champions League final is considered to be one of the greatest games of football. Liverpool F. C. won the match in a penalty shootout after being 3-0 down at half time and leveled the score 3-3 within the first 15 minutes of the second half.
With no goals scored in extra time, the match went into penalty shootout, and Liverpool won with 3-2 in the shootout against A. C. Milan. One historical event that I would change is the outcome of the 2005 Champions League final. My undying support for Milan has never wavered ever since I started watching football. I avidly followed all their matches and catch up news about them. I was shocked to see their defeat during the finals. I remember watching their finals live on television; I was speechless after seeing how Milan conceded 3 goals in 15 minutes.
I had tears in my eyes when Andriy Shevchenko of Milan missed the final penalty. I could not believe it. Milan had gone from winning 3-0 to giving the trophy away! Milan should not have lost the match. They had the ability and the opportunity to take home the trophy, but they did not play to their full potential. Milan became overly confident after having three goals up at half time. Perhaps the thought that they were really close to victory went up to their heads. They just sat back and played passive defending, but Liverpool proved them wrong. Because of this excessive confidence, Milan lost badly, very badly.
I wanted Milan to win not only because they are my favorite team, but also because they played with confidence to their full potential regardless of having the three-goal advantage. I believe that this should be the correct mentality. I believe that from the said event, this is serves as a good lesson in life not only in football. In order to pursue our goals, confidence is important in whatever we want to achieve. However, it should not let us lose sight of our ultimate goals. Thus, too much of anything is bad. It is better to feel more confident as we accomplish more victories rather than to feel confident with just having one.
I have the confidence that I will do well in the field of medicine and what I have achieved so far, and I am not ready to give up those accomplishments and my goals. 5. I think that the most uncomfortable situation for me is to witness the terrible efficiency of the U. S. healthcare system. This is the worst scenario because it should be every doctor’s responsibility to help the sick patients. It should also be the government’s duty to provide people the right access to healthcare. It would be difficult for me to witness a patient being rejected by the hospital because of having no capability of paying the hospital bill.
It bothers me that the cost of healthcare is ridiculously high in the U. S. Not only do the uninsured patients have to recover from their illnesses, but they also have to be burdened by the heavy weight of those hospital bills. The healthcare system in my country is covered by the national health insurance. People will only pay a small fraction of the cost for their visit to the doctor’s office. The national health insurance covers the basic medical needs of all citizens who were able to pay the taxes. As a result, patients are not overwhelmed by hospital bills for getting a simple medical care.
Furthermore, there is little attention to the quality of care given to patients; one has to wait for four hours to receive three stitches in the ER! This is not what urgent care should be like. Having accustomed to a universal healthcare provided by government, it may take a little while for me to adjust to the healthcare system that the U. S. has. However, I still believe that these flaws in the system will arise now and then again in the back of my mind. This is really one of my concerns because it is difficult to provide medical treatment to a lot of people who are in need of help.
It is necessary for physicians to get paid for their services but money should not be the reason why people are motivated to pursue careers in medicine. The willingness and commitment to serve should also be the main goal of every medical professional. In the present times, medicine has become increasingly commercialized, which makes money the attracting force to have a degree in medicine. I believe that one should become a physician only if he/she has a genuine interest in medicine and commitment to treatment of patients. 6.
If I was not able to make it in any of my top five preferences, it will be a great disappointment for me. One great field that I really want to consider is the field of medicine. However, failing to make it to any of my top five preferences will also pave the way for me to pursue other fields that I might have little knowledge or have never thought about but have interest in. I might discover something in the field outside of my choices that strongly attracts me and ultimately change me. Right now, I am still uncertain of which field is most suited for me, so a broad experience will be very helpful to me.
This is also why medical students go through rotations through internal medicine, surgery, pediatrics, psychiatry and so on. I believe that my disappointment will only be short-lived, given the experiences described by the former and current interns at the info session. I am extremely excited about the possibilities through this internship. I am looking forward to having a preceptor who is a good doctor, who cares deeply about his/her patients, and who is more than someone who treats diseases. Attending to diseases is just one part of being a medicine practitioner. Caring for the patients is extremely important as well.
These are two separate things should be mutually exclusive; one can treat diseases and ignore the patients, and one can give a whole lot of care but fail to provide effective treatment. I strongly believe that a professional doctor who accomplishes both—treating and caring for the patient—treats the patient as a whole. I also want to have a preceptor that is willing to teach and educate me. I really want to learn as much as I can through this internship. First-hand experience really counts and I believe this experience would teach me important things that I will not learn within the four corners of a classroom.
It is a rare opportunity to experience what it would be like in the third year of medical school. I also wish to be under the care of an honest and humble preceptor. I hope that he/she will be someone who will not lie to cover up mistakes and take on the “god-complex” whenever he/she accomplishes something. I believe that it is important to learn from our mistakes and take responsibilities as these make us learn more and so that we will not repeat those mistakes. I believe that being overly proud of accomplishments will be dangerous in medicine.
The “god-complex” will often cloud the thinking of doctors and lead them to make wrong decisions. I would also like my preceptor to be more than just a teacher. I want him/her to be a mentor who I will be able to connect with on the academic level as well as the emotional level. I want to have someone who is approachable and good in giving advices. I want an intern-preceptor relationship that will last for the rest of my life in the medicine field. If I were a preceptor, I would like to be with an intern who is enthusiastic and determined to learn as much out of this internship as possible.
The capability of the intern to catch up with the given opportunity to assist me would be totally up to him/her. I am not going to force the intern to learn. I will provide him/her support and knowledge as much as what the intern would want to receive. I would also highly appreciate it if he/she would ask questions because I believe it is an indication of curiosity and eagerness to learn. I would like to see the intern’s motivation to learn, because ultimately, it is the motivation that will allow the intern to benefit the most from the internship, the medical school and even beyond.