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Residency Family Medicine, Cambodia

It would be impossible to discuss where I am going in my career without first giving credence to where I have been, and the path that ultimately led to Family Medicine. I was born in Laos, have seen a country overrun by war, and know what it means to leave everything you have ever known behind, only to face hunger, and disease in a refugee camp. In 1982, my family and I crossed the Mekong to Thailand, where I lived for seven years. My father served ten years in the US-supported army, dying in the rescue of US pilots downed near the Ho Chi Minh Trail. My mother later remarried, leaving my brother and me to fend for ourselves. Being the eldest, I struggled with my role for the sake of my brothers, facing many hardships, yet managed to survive. Finally, when I was 12, by the grace of God and our benefactors, we departed for the US with a pocketful of hope and a loose grasp of English. Finally, we had our chance to go to school, get an education and make a difference in the world.

Family Medicine stood out to me from all other areas of Medicine, reflecting all the attributes that are within me, my desire to serve and interact with patients of all ages, and the treatment of patients as a whole, not as individual constituent parts or numbers. Moreover, becoming board-certified in Family Medicine will enable me to bring a number of my goals and dreams to reality. Firstly, I envision teaching at least part-time and using my professional successes as a jumping-off point for active volunteerism within my community and beyond through medical mission work, serving the underserved, forgotten populations of emerging nations.

Already, I have a BS and an MS, and I am hoping to complete my MBA as well as my Diploma in Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, engaging in research into parasitology. Upon building my exposure post-graduation, I aspire to work in rural or remote areas, filling in much-needed gaps for access to qualified medical care.

I bring with me to the Family Medicine residency and student body a solid foundation in Medicine coupled with extensive professional and volunteer experiences earned in the field. For example, and bringing relevance to my future work, for the past 30 months, I have been active in working with the XXXX Hospital. It was here that I could utilize my unique heritage, multilingual abilities, and clinical and analytical skills to bring about positive outcomes for these precious individuals, people who sacrificed so much for their fellow citizens.

This spring, I went to Thailand and Laos. I was shocked and saddened to see how badly the people lived, particularly the Hill Tribes, and abandoned children stricken with Malaria, utterly bereft of healthcare of any kind. I returned to the US forever changed, and spent this summer pursuing Tropical Medicine and Hygiene certification, which will enable me to serve both domestic and overseas underserved areas.

Whether or not I must forget the past is immaterial, I know that I never will. And so I give of my life, energy, and passion for Medicine for the betterment of others' lives and the furthering of the only discipline that has ever brought me the most significant level of personal, professional and spiritual satisfaction. My only ambition, as it always has been, is to serve the patient first and my ambitions second. Thank you for your consideration of my application.

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