3. How and when did you become interested in medicine or the health profession to which you are applying? (“Why do you want to be a _____?” Go beyond “because I want to help people and like science”). Which branch of medicine are you currently interested in practicing? In what setting do you anticipate practicing?
When I started college I was undecided between psychology and biology with no real aspirations of medical school. I considered it above my academic ability and wrote it off. Fortunately though, one of the first classes I took freshman year was Human Biology and it really sparked my interest. When taking it I knew that I was only being taught the basics of human body and I found myself wanting to know more and more about its complexities. This by no means meant that I planning on applying to medical school. I had simply decided that I wanted to center my studies on human biology.
Later on in my freshman year I realized that I loved applying what I knew to problem solving situations. I guess it gives me a sense of satisfaction taking what I learned in the classroom and using it to answer someone’s questions or explain to someone what’s going on in their own body. It then occurred to me that I could actually make a living doing this. Medicine started to seem like the perfect fit for my interest since I could get paid for learning about what I liked and applying it to real life situations and seeing actual results from my treatment plan.
The summer following my freshman year I started getting some clinical experience to see if medicine is what I envisioned. My Physician Assistant Dermatologist offered the opportunity to shadow her in the practice to see what a typical day is like. After the first day I was hooked. Although I did not find dermatology all that exciting I still loved going into seeing patients hearing about their problems and trying to figure out in my head what was going one and what treatment would be right for them. That summer I learned a couple of important things. One, medicine was definitely the field I wanted to pursue. Two, I most likely wanted to go into a primary care field because they would see a wider variety of pathology, as opposed to specializing. Three, I wanted to become a physician as opposed to a physician assistant because physician assistants mainly see the same easier to treat problems.
Ever since that summer I’ve been doing my research on what to expect in medical school, residency and beyond. I’ve read all the horror stories and have had more than a couple of physicians try to talk me out of pursuing this career. But I’ve already accepted these hardships and feel like as long as I go into this field with the right reasons and mindset, then it is still all worth the effort. I feel that even with the long hours, incompliant patients and years of training this is still a field that I would really enjoy and do well in.
After doing some research and interning in a variety of different field I can see myself happiest in a primary care field, more specifically Internal Medicine. I think this is the area that best fits what I’m looking to get out of a career. I also can see myself working in a hospital setting as opposed to a private practice. A hospital would allow me more tools to do my job and also give me a better sense of continuity of care. Taking all of these things into consideration I see the job of being a Hospitalist (general medicine in-patient care specialist) to be the most appealing.
Note: I think I'm suppose to keep this to around 500. It's for my Pre-Health Professions Committee.