The paper "A Decision to Make a Career in Rheumatology" is a worthy example of a personal statement on medical science. Having been exposed to various fields of medicine, I was so fascinated by internal medicine to such an extent that I decided to pursue a career in Rheumatology during the second year of my residency training. Moreover, my choice to specialize in Rheumatology was greatly inspired by certain events that occurred to me during my residency training. I always vividly remember one memorable incident that occurred during my night float month when I was asked to admit a 37-year-old African American Female with a fever, dry cough and pleuritic chest pain for community-acquired pneumonia.
While reviewing her history, it was evident that she had visited the Emergency Department several times within the previous two months. Chest X-rays from these visits had shown that diffuse acinar had infiltrated into the lung bases bilaterally. At each visit, she was diagnosed with community-acquired pneumonia and was always given Moxifloxacin. When I entered the room, I saw an ill-looking female with a malar rash on her face and I immediately knew why she was not responding to the antibiotics.
Consequently, I diagnosed her with SLE and chronic pneumonitis, which was not detected during her previous ED visits. Similarly, I attended another patient with hepatitis C who was admitted for progressive claudication of right lower extremity and was also diagnosed with occlusion of the popliteal artery with diffuse arthritis of medium vessels. We all expected mixed cryoglobulinemia associated with vasculitis in this patient with hepatitis C but it was a polyarteritis nodosa. During these clinical experiences, I felt very special like someone who had just made a new discovery.
Such clinical experiences as the ones mentioned above have greatly increased my enthusiasm for Rheumatology. During my second year of residency training, I did Rheumatology electives at the University of Toronto and Yale University. I had the opportunity to study rheumatic diseases in-depth and to become competent in performing arthrocentesis. I became fascinated by the effects of autoimmune diseases on patients. I enjoyed the challenge of diagnostic dilemmas and as well as trying to understand and the pathophysiology of auto-immune diseases.
I greatly enjoyed taking care of the elderly with musculoskeletal diseases. I was glad to be part of a team helping young adults to deal with their chronic illnesses and to function to their best. I developed a strong passion for the field of medicine through my experiences and education. As a way of developing further my knowledge and skills in Rheumatology, I have as well taken several patients with rheumatic diseases to my internal medicine clinic. I especially assist them with periodic consultations from Rheumatologists.
In doing so, I am able to understand their emotional struggles involved in living with chronic medical illnesses. On top of that, I am able to counsel them and give them the support they need. I strongly believe that the profession of medicine should not only focus on physical welfare but also the emotional welfare of individuals. Rheumatology gives me the opportunity to establish extended relationships with patients and their families. Thus, this discipline of medicine will offer me the rewarding experience of helping to cure patients suffering mentally and physically.
I have a vision of seeing myself as a Rheumatologist who is also competent in internal medicine. Furthermore, I would like to combine my clinical practice in educating medical students, residents and fellow colleagues as well as doing clinical research.