The Type of Doctor I Want to Be

Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please tell your story.

After completing an hour of training with the overworked nurses of Johnston-Willis Hospital, I acquainted myself with Holly, a frail ninety year old woman who, along with fighting terminal cancer, was recovering from a stroke that also impaired her speech. I accompanied her to the main hospital where we waited thirty minutes before she was called in for her doctor’s appointment and another hour before she received her prescription. Feeling hungry, I suggested we eat lunch. With a wild-eyed expression, she resisted. Forgotten by her family and ignored by her friends, kindness was a stranger to her – even though I was only offering a chicken sandwich. When it arrived, Holly’s face beamed with happiness.

It amazed me how little brought so much joy to a person. While elated I made Holly’s day, the emotional isolation she endured disgusted me. Since then, I wondered, “Do I really want to go into medicine?”

Nothing in my personal, academic, or volunteer experiences had shaken my commitment to medicine. Was it the fact that Holly was terminal? No, disease and death were something I had experienced before with pets, loved ones, and other patients. Her financial hardships weren’t a stranger to me either. I have seen my family sacrifice...

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