Studying medicine is life-changing and requires a strong commitment, as although the course is five years long, there will be decades of learning new things and progressing. I feel I am ready to make this commitment as becoming a doctor is my aspiration and I want to be able to aid people with the skills and knowledge that I will gain.
I took part in work experience at a hospital during which I was placed in various Outpatient Clinics – including gastroenterology, colorectal and ophthalmology– where I observed doctors consulting with patients. In one instance, a patient required a translator as he could not speak English. The doctor calmly explained all procedures clearly and ensured that the patient was well informed. This showed me that doctors need patience and empathy as well as good communication skills to be competent. In another instance, a doctor was faced with a patient with symptoms of increased urine and thirst as well as some weight loss. The doctor diagnosed the patient with type 2 diabetes. This showed me that doctors should have a rapid thought process to quickly – but accurately – diagnose patients. I also observed a doctor performing sigmoidoscopy, on patients that came in with symptoms including diarrhoea and weight loss, as well as other clinical instruments. From this I learnt that doctors need to be proficient in the clinical aspects of medicine as well as the scientifical and caring aspects. On top of this, I observed the importance of good teamwork in the NHS between doctors, nurses, radiographers and other staff. Teamwork is essential in the NHS to ensure good service to patients. I have also had work experience in a Day Care Centre where I experienced the caring side of working in this profession as I witnessed the care of infants from eight months old to eight year old children.
I volunteered at a primary school for almost two years where I helped year one and two pupils to develop their reading skills and spoken English. I was able to build a rapport with the pupils which showcases my communication skills and empathy with young children.
Moreover, I took part in a Virtual Medicine course through which I became familiar with the PBL method of learning. I was faced with virtual patients with various symptoms and learnt about diseases such as Asthma. During this course, I was put into a small group which built my team working skills. This is crucial for doctors who are part of a multidisciplinary team. Furthermore, I achieved the Dux Scholar Award at my school as well as the Top Achiever Award in Mathematics, English Language and Religious Education. This demonstrates my hardworking nature and my desire to do well in all aspects of my education.
Currently, I privately tutor an A Level student and also teach a seven year old girl to read Arabic. This allows me to be able to work independently and show initiative when deciding on different techniques of teaching. As well as this, I volunteer as a retail assistant at the British Heart Foundation which allows me to meet new people and use my communication skills constantly.
In my free time I enjoy reading thought-provoking books such as Do No Harm by Doctor Henry Marsh. Reading this book inspired me to become a doctor as it gives a realistic portrayal of the rewards and some of the difficulties that may be faced in this challenging career. I have recently developed an interest in fitness. Exercising on a regular basis has been scientifically proven to make you happier therefore I have taken up running. I run every other morning for thirty minutes. This allows me to start the day with a positive attitude.
To conclude, I am determined to become a doctor as this is the career that appeals to me most. I believe I have the skills and commitment to study this demanding course and become a fantastic doctor. I am eager to see where medicine will take me in the future and I welcome both the difficulties and rewards that await.
Medicine encompasses both art and science. Diseases can be diagnosed using the logics of science. However, some situations do not follow the norm, requiring doctors to think innovatively, considering each patient as a whole rather than just a wound. I believe this is the art. I am confident I can achieve my full potential in medicine as it offers continuous excitement, uniquely combining both art and science.
I interviewed high profile doctors to research what it takes to succeed as a doctor. My interview with Dame Carol Black – expert advisor to the Department of Health – was published in a magazine by the Medical Women’s Federation. In this experience, I practiced creativity and initiative, as I predetermined questions, then delivered them in a conversational and professional manner during the interview.
I organised to shadow consultants and their team members to gain further insight into the practice of medicine. I reflected on my experiences and identified the key qualities I observed in the doctors. I learned that they build trust with patients by communicating effectively. In clinics, the surgeon illustrated procedures so that patients understood risks and benefits. Reluctant patients then became more confident to consent to surgery. I also realised the importance of teamwork at the ward multidisciplinary meetings. Consultants worked with other staff to make decisions in the best interests of the patients. I witnessed a junior doctor’s need to feel competent but also his humility when asking for help.
I worked as a care-assistant to gain some sense of the vast responsibility I observed on work experience. This exposed the emotionally demanding aspects of healthcare, preparing me well for medicine. For example, I discovered that some people are less willing to receive help while others are more demanding. Thus, I learned to maintain a holistic outlook considering physical, emotional, mental and social wellbeing – resultantly treating all patients with equal respect and dignity. I also acquired the ability to make decisions under pressure. When a sick client refused to call for an ambulance, I calmly followed the protocols for such a situation, which I recalled from training. I also listened to the client in order to understand her reason for not wanting help. I learned she was afraid to go to the hospital alone, so I offered to stay with her.
While at university, I have been working as a patient support volunteer. This allows me to continuously refine my communication skills. When speaking with dementia patients, I learned the importance of non-verbal communication. I am now aware of my paralanguage and control it by speaking at a slower pace, with long pauses. This calms upset or confused patients, ensuring some patients are not ignored just because they find it difficult to understand or convey their wishes.
My health deteriorated in the first semester at university and so I decided to take a break to receive treatment. In semester two, although the workload significantly increased, I did not feel overwhelmed. The Personal and Professional Development module of the course allowed me to reflect and recognise that illness positively influenced my work ethic – specifically, my time-management skills. Thus, I could strive to achieve my full potential without barriers and enjoy the course content, particularly the renal physiology and related clinical sessions.
Outside of my academic studies, I enjoy doing drama. I received a Level 1 Arts Award for producing a play for an anti-bullying campaign. This required me to independently create a script and lead a group of actors to collaboratively work together. I learned to cope with this stress by asking for feedback from my group members, making sure that we were consistently synchronous. Acting often requires one to perceive situations from different viewpoints. Thus, drama has made me aware of the social and cultural differences within society.
After thorough research, I found that medicine is an exciting yet challenging career. I reflected on my experiences and attempted to implement the skills I identified of the doctors into the contact I have with patients. Through chronic illness I experienced a patient’s needs and developed compassion on a more dimensional level. I will now be better attributed to provide quality care, having tasted life at both ends of the stethoscope.
Two unfortunate events have had an unprecedented impact upon my life. At the age of 12, I found out that my grandmother had only 30% of her heart muscle left. I watched her deteriorate during the final six months of her lifetime. Ultimately, she was only receiving palliative care as her condition was terminal. The second event, which came to my family, as a shock was when my 9 year old sister was diagnosed with type I diabetes. As a consequence, I decided that I wanted to work within the medical field.
I enjoy the academic rigour of my A level courses and challenging myself to achieve high standards. I participated in a medical research project where we compared how effective different antibiotics were on bacteria by gram staining and then creating a portfolio that included statistical data. I am also fascinated by optical molecules where a mirror image can have a huge impact on the human body. I am reading the latest health care research on the BBC website and some articles in the lancet. This is making me aware of the universal challenges that the medical world is facing.
In addition, I have completed many hours of related work experience including in a pharmacy and volunteering in a care home for a year. This has helped me explore the patient – carer relationship further. Every individual had different needs with very specific health requirements; the support provided to patients was very personal. One gentleman suffered from osteoporosis; unable to sit up or walk, he had a remote control bed but “superman”, as he was affectionately known, paced through the hallways on his stomach. It was amazing to see such determination.
Currently, one in three elderly people suffer from dementia in the UK and I noticed this at the care home. I was able to see the manifestation of the conditions as days passed: some patients had major personality changes and were unable to communicate, others were just forgetful. Just like type 1 diabetes, the cause is not yet known, although I have read studies that have made some links to inheritance and other diseases that can trigger them, but no primary causes have been provided.
Volunteering at a child care home showed me the importance of consistency and being on time. The children had varying levels of learning difficulties, but mainly autism. Non-verbal communication was key – looking at their facial expressions and listening to sounds: that personal contact I was able to provide was very rewarding.
Training as a first aider with St. John’s has given me the confidence to deal with the unexpected and has shown me how interdependent we are on each other.
My educational history has been very diverse. I have studied in two different educational systems in the world. I have learnt to adapt to new environments very quickly. I enjoy making new friends, being a part of teams and being a leader. I have effectively used these skills whilst working for an education company as an assistant last year and subsequently as an admissions advisor this summer. I have enjoyed being a member of the student council and a prefect in my school where I have made collective decisions, led others and shared ideas. I also hold the Diana anti bullying award for tackling bullying.
Rishworth School is going to space. I have been selected to work in the engineering team where we will design and build a capsule that will collate data and capture images in space. I am very proud to be a part of this revolution.
In my free time, I enjoy cooking. I like to fuse different cuisines together and engineer new flavours. I also enjoy singing and dancing for exercise and self-expression.
I understand that a career in medicine would be ever-changing and just how hard this journey is going to be but I relish the challenge. I am patient, perseverant and determined: I believe that my life experiences so far have led me to this pathway.
With my father being a pharmacist, I have grown up with pharmacy being a fundamental element of my life. Seeing the weekly pharmaceutical journals in the post, to watching him complete his work provided me with great admiration for the profession and ultimately sparked my desire to pursue pharmacy and further expand my knowledge in the field. I began to appreciate that pharmacy is not like any other line of work in regards to the amount of dedication required to exercise the role of a successful pharmacist, this is something I admire deeply about pharmacists and their profession.
Being close to someone in the pharmaceutical field has given me an insight into the sheer importance of a pharmacist in the community and in the national public health strategy, not only to help improve the health of an individual via medicines but also to help raise awareness on how to live a healthy lifestyle. Pharmacists require extensive knowledge on medicines and their life cycles and also on the metabolism, nutrition and wellbeing of the human body, these topics in particular are what interest me the most about the pharmacy course.
In order to further my understanding of the role of a pharmacist, and of the NHS sector, I work occasional hours each week at Birstall pharmacy. My job consists of shadowing the lead pharmacist and studying his behaviour with patients and colleagues; from this I have learnt a great deal about how prescriptions are regulated, patient focus, clinical care and professional behaviour. I also complete admin work and operate the till, gaining from this a great deal about teamwork, patient confidentiality, organisation within the pharmacy and the importance of patient records and professional regulations.
I organised a week’s work experience at an opticians, completing admin work and observing the optometrist. This experience helped me understand the role of an optician and how it links within the NHS. Additionally I previously volunteered at the local Oxfam charity shop on a weekly basis to be able to do more for the community and those less fortunate. During the summer months I took part in a family charity event to help raise vital funds for the people of Gaza. These have both been very humbling experiences for me as I was able to learn a lot about compassion and support for the elderly and vulnerable.
At school I am part of the peer reading programme which allows senior students to help younger students, with a less than average reading age, to improve their reading skills. During this role I had to display patience and empathy and also make myself approachable so that my peer reader had full confidence in me. Another one of my roles in school is to be an assistant tutor within my form, my typical duties consist of working with less able students, presenting lessons to the class and acting as a role model to younger members of the form. This position has raised my interpersonal, organisation and leadership skills to a higher standard. Furthermore I took part in the Bradford schools drug prevention initiative where I had to prepare a lesson and present this to a class of year 8 students; I found this task thoroughly enjoyable and gained vast confidence from it. As a result of these extracurricular activities I have gained a great sense of responsibility and managed to create a good relationship with students and staff.
Outside of school I am fun, outgoing and sociable; I have a passion for music and movies and I enjoy going for walks and live an active lifestyle. My hobbies include playing sports; I have been a part of the school football team and play football weekly with friends, this helps me enhance my concentration and team skills.
My strongest attributes are that I am a confident, dedicated and trustworthy person, some of the most paramount features of a successful pharmacist. This is why I believe pharmacy is a career naturally suited to me, my personality and my values.
During year 6, I was chosen to take part in a science day at a secondary school in which I made a bouncy ball and observed the jelly-bean experiment. The change in physical properties of both of the experiments amazed me and I wanted to learn more about why the reactants reacted the way that they did. My interest in this has motivated me to learn more about the properties of elements and their compounds and the ways in which a pharmacist can use these properties to form new and effective drugs.
Whilst studying Maths at A level I have learnt to use logical techniques when approaching problems. I also use knowledge gained from Maths in my Biology and Chemistry A levels as it helps to efficiently work through problem-based questions. One of the topics I enjoyed in Biology is the nervous system; we were taught that there are several drugs that can inhibit action potentials thus combating diseases to better quality of life. I also study Applied Science which has helped broaden my knowledge about working in industry. One the units involved work in the scientific industry and through it I learnt more about the practices and procedures of laboratories in pharmaceutical industries. I applied knowledge gained in Chemistry about titrations, standard solutions and calculations to understand more about titrations in industry.
Currently I am taking part in an Open University online course about biological medicines for patients. This course has only furthered my interests in pharmacy as it informed me how an enzyme (alglucerase) was manufactured to help patients with Gaucher’s disease. This course has also determined that I am an organised student and can manage my time well. I am also motivated to use opportunities around me to increase my knowledge on topics that interest me.
I undertook experience at the local hospital, where I worked in A & E department and the stroke unit. This work experience gave me valuable knowledge and taught me the benefits, as well as dangers, of the drugs being used and their doses. Shadowing a consultant gave me the opportunity to ask questions about the NHS, this included asking how the NICE operates and decides which drugs to use in the NHS. I also conducted work experience in a private hospital and a government funded hospital in Bangladesh. The difference in use of drugs and treatments at both hospitals inspired me to use a career in pharmacy to learn more about how drugs work and to use my knowledge to help supply cost-effective and useful drugs to patients. Completing one week work experience in a primary school has increased my confidence and communication skills. I was responsible for small groups of children during activities which taught me leadership skills. I was able to adapt the leadership skills I learnt as a Prefect to benefit me when working in this environment. I can now adapt and take charge of unfamiliar situations easily.
I enjoy reading which helps me learn about topics not on the syllabus at college. The Germ Code by Jason Tetro helped me learn more about extremophile bacteria and enzymes which added to the information I learnt about enzymes in Biology and Chemistry classes which focused only on enzymes that denature over 40 degrees Celsius. Tetro also writes about the perception of bacteria changing over time which interested me and I wanted to know more about practices in the scientific industry that changed over time. To do this I read many books one of which was Midwife on Call by by Agnes Light. I learnt more about what practices the NHS embraced and rejected from the 1970’s to the early 2000’s.
I see myself in a career where I can research more about compounds in living materials, as well as in drugs, and use them to form new and exciting substances. Studying Pharmacy will also give me the opportunity to work with people to better health in the world. To further aid this ambition I also wish to study post-graduate medicine.
My interest in pharmacy began simply out of curiosity, since having a mother who is a nurse and a diabetic patient, having an array of medicines around the house was not unusual. This made me question why you take high dosages of some but not others, why some are taken at certain times, and why they are needed in general. This curiosity has been enhanced and converted into a passion for science, more specifically biology and chemistry which has provided me with the foundations to pursue pharmacy as a career. As the role of the pharmacists is continuously evolving with the outbreaks of new diseases, development of new drugs and most recently with more and more pharmacies being integrated with GP’s i see pharmacy as not becoming stale anytime soon but rather adapting to the future which reassures me in wanting to become a pharmacist.
Studying Biology, chemistry and Psychology at A-level has contributed in furthering my understanding of medicines and the human body. Psychology mainly focused on the brain and how drugs can be used in order to combat mental disorders, for example the use of clozapine or chlorpromazine (antipsychotic drugs) to treat schizophrenia. Not only this but the issues concerning the choices of treatments were discussed and why the success of some medical treatments may just be the result of the placebo effect, which is often the case for depression. Psychology has also improved my essay writing skills as extended writing is a regular part of the course.
Chemistry is the subject I found most interesting whilst studying in school because it involved more practicals and more detail on why things such as chemicals work the way they do. Although chemistry has mentioned how chemicals affect the body in certain ways, such as magnesium sulphate being used as a remedy to indigestion, analytical skills were also taught. The fundamentals of NMR, MMR and IR spectroscopy were covered whilst learning chemistry and I know these techniques are used heavily in the pharmaceutical industry for a variety of uses especially in the pharmacological side of pharmacy.
Biology helped me learn about common diseases affecting people as well as the human anatomy and physiology. l enjoyed learning antibiotics and how they target specific bacteria to prevent them from causing more harm. The fact that bacteria can mutate to gain resistance and pass that resistance through vertical and horizontal gene transmission, it is interesting to see how the new antibiotics are produced in order to stop these new resistant strains.
Recently I acquired work experience at a local community pharmacist and at the BRI (Bradford royal infirmary). Working in the community pharmacy, I worked with and learned about the processing and use of prescriptions in more detail, the IT aspect of pharmacy and how the pharmacists interacts with the patients/customers. Whilst In the hospital I shadowed several doctors and nurses as well as some pharmacy technicians. I observed ward rounds and drug rounds where the doctors and nurses speak to the patients to assess their diagnosis and plan for a course of treatment which usually involved medication.