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Residency in Pediatrics: Chinese Applicant

I was asthmatic from the age of five and was hospitalized several times. I observed the world and the adults in it as only a child can. I could see that some doctors and nurses did their job but no more, they cared for the other children and me but other staff also clearly cared about my family and me. I decided very early in life that I would be a doctor and, more importantly, that I would be the type of doctor who cared about his patients and for them.

Although I was trained in nuclear medicine back in China, I had particularly enjoyed my rotation in Pediatrics. Because of my own childhood experiences, I found that I could relate easily to the child patients and their families and have anyway always enjoyed the company of children. When I moved to North America, I decided that I wanted a more ‘ hands-on’ type of work than nuclear medicine and became a Public Health Inspector. I worked in this role for six years. I enjoyed my job, but several events that occurred during this time, re-fired an interest in pediatrics as I became aware of the extent of the abuse, neglect, and healthcare problems of children living in remote and underserved communities.

Let me relate just one of the more memorable events involving the neglect that I witnessed: I had been called to investigate an overflow of garbage at a property. I stepped into a small bungalow in a remote community to a combined smell of mold and feces and to the sound of children playing. I followed the voices to find a girl of about five and a boy of about two playing with toys next to a pile of dog feces; their mother lay incapacitated on a nearby dingy couch. The children’s pale faces showed signs of malnutrition. This was a formative event in my life, and I decided that I would seek to help such children as these by qualifying as a pediatrician. My experiences have fired a passion for proactive, preventative intervention in child welfare and healthcare and to become an effective advocate for community health and especially that of children. I sincerely hope to eventually become a pediatrician working in a remote and underserved community. I feel strongly that my background in the health inspection work has given me an excellent basis to be effective in such a role.

I know that a sick, totally dependent, and vulnerable little patient with parents wearing anxiety-filled faces provides a uniquely heart-rending scene and calls for unique characteristics in a physician. I also know that not everyone can handle the substantial emotional component that is involved in treating sick children. I have considered these extraordinary demands carefully. Having done so, I am sure that I can be an influential pediatrician, and I cannot see a better way to live my life than by doing so.

I hope to be able to assist in research and believe that I have the determined, focused, and intellectual curiosity to enable me to do so effectively. I should be particularly interested in research relating to the adverse psychological effects on children of long-term ill-health/hospitalization and ways of ameliorating such effects. 

I am aware that cultural sensitivity is essential in medicine. I have happily studied and worked with people of many cultural and social backgrounds. I look forward to extending these experiences in the program. I also possess a well developed sense of humor and a sense of fun that appeals to children. 

I know that this specialty attracts many well qualified applicants. However I genuinely believe that I am an exceptional candidate. I am well qualified and academically able; I have diverse experience that will enable me to ‘add value’ to the program; I enjoy team working and passing on my knowledge and skills to others; my main recommendation is a genuine and deeply held desire to acquire the additional skills and knowledge to expertly treat children and to advance child healthcare, ultimately as a pediatrician in underserved communities.

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