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Family Medicine Residency, South American

I cannot recall a time when I did not want to be a physician. My grandmother was the sole nurse in a small town in Colombia, and when visiting her as a child, I was allowed to be her unofficial and very junior ‘assistant.’ She had little equipment but provided first aid, simple injections, midwife services, and even undertook minor surgical procedures. Her patients were sometimes unable to pay even a small amount for her services which were consequently often provided free.  This was an excellent introduction to medicine and to the importance of caring about one’s patients in addition to caring for them.

 In the face of severe financial obstacles, my parents eventually could afford the fees for my training.  My medical school had a family medicine bias, and I was involved in assisting expert and dedicated physicians in providing primary health care services to the poor and underserved from one of many peripheral, community-based medical centers. I immensely enjoyed this exposure to family medicine and worked as a primary care physician for five years.  I was attracted to family medicine because: of its emphasis on prevention, which is becoming more critical as the population ages; it provides enormous variety in conditions and patient types, resulting in a very varied working day; it calls for a holistic approach to patients and the application of knowledge of their family and occupational environments; it enables me to apply the high degree of diagnostic and communication skills that I know that I have already demonstrated in my career; it provides the scope to provide primary care to the type of poor and underserved communities in which I intend to work. I hope to assist in research relating to the provision of more effective primary preventative health education to the poor, and mainly Hispanic, communities.

 Since arriving in the US, I have qualified and practiced as a registered nurse and worked latterly as a nursing supervisor. This has given me a good understanding of the US medical environment and made me aware of all the latest medical, surgical, and pharmacological advances. My current role provides the opportunity to give direct patient care and to liaise with patients and their families. I also offer nursing training, and, in addition, I have administrative and management duties. All these experiences will be helpful in my future as a family physician.

 I am aware that cultural awareness and sensitivity are essential in family medicine. Having experience in adjusting to a new culture, language, and working environment, I am well qualified to support patients who come from other cultures. Since arriving in the US, I have happily studied, worked, and socialized with people of many social and cultural backgrounds.

I look forward to extending this experience in the program.

 I know that there will be many well-qualified applicants for residencies in this specialty. However, I do believe that I am an exceptional candidate. I have worked as a practical family practitioner in Colombia, and I now have substantial experience in the US medical environment. My main recommendation is a genuine passion for family medicine and a determination to become a truly dedicated, skilled, knowledgeable, and effective family physician working with poor and underserved communities.

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