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Residency Internal Medicine, Cancer, Rural India

When people discuss the term “healthcare disparities”, I often wonder if they realize what the concept really means.  Growing up in a rural India, I know from first-hand experience the realities.  I will never forget seeing my beloved grandfather initially complaining of a headache, and seconds later losing his ability to speak, and falling unconscious.  Our village doctor came quickly, determining my grandfather had suffered a stroke.  The hospital though was 65 miles away, and en route, my grandfather took his last breath.  I was beside myself with grief, and frustration, pelting my father with questions he could not answer.  Finally, I turned to our family physician.  It was his patience, and ability to describe what had happened and why that placed my feet firmly on the path to Medicine.  The vision I had for my life forever changed in those few days, and I began focusing on the ailments and proper care of my family and friends.

Internal Medicine was first introduced to me in medical school.  I was intrigued by how the intricacies of medical science and clinical presentation of disease processes may differ markedly from their typical presentation.  For example, I remember my professor diagnosing a young female smoker with pitted nails and pain her left hand with Takayasu’s arteritis, when I, in fact had initially suspected peripheral vascular disease.  A course of steroids was ordered, and I watched as her condition rapidly improved.  The approach to the patient in a deductive, analytical manner was stimulating and I looked forward to each new case with great eagerness, truly thrilled by the range of cases I saw on a daily basis.  No other rotation could satisfy me more personally or professionally in terms of pathophysiology and diverse direct-patient exposure.

Entering into a quality and challenging Internal Medicine residency in the US will provide me with the training to be a confident and effective primary care physician and clinical researcher.  The US medical programs are renowned for their access to state-of-the-art technologies, and seemingly endless research opportunities.  I envision serving the medical community through academic medicine, wherein I can see patients in an atmosphere of learning, teaching residents and medical students while pursuing research opportunities.

I bring with me to the Internal Medicine residency and student body a solid academic foundation in Medicine earned in one of the most reputable medical schools in India.  Moreover, I have been exposed to a myriad of clinical cases that have broadened my approach and sharpened my clinical acumen.  Having completed a one-year internship, I feel confident that I have the interpersonal communication skills and clinical decision-making abilities to provide an excellent grounding from which to expand my grasp of healthcare in the US as well as abilities as a physician.

In anticipation and preparation for the opportunity and challenge of a US-based Internal Medicine residency, I have immersed myself in a number of observerships, and an externship in teaching hospitals in busy, metropolitan areas amounting to several months of additional clinical experience and an overview of the US healthcare system.  Even as I write this, I am engaged in a clinical observership and research program in the Internal Medicine department of Anderson Cancer Institute in Houston, Texas.  My current work involves the assessment of the efficacy of methylphenidate as compared to placebo for the relief of fatigue in patients undergoing chemotherapy for malignant neoplasms.  What is more, I am on-course to complete my graduate Public Health degree by the spring of next year.

My hard work and preparations have increased my confidence, self-efficacy, optimism and in practical terms, familiarized me with electronic medical records, emergency protocols, as well as practicing and refining my ability to establish a rapport and communicate effectively with socio-economically and culturally diverse patients.  Additionally, I am a successful contributing member of multidisciplinary medical teams of attending physicians, residents and staff nurses, adding my own comprehensive problem-solving ability.

Not only am I multilingual, but I have been educated, lived and worked in two diverse countries on two different continents, even traveling throughout southern India.  What is more, having lived the US immigrant experience, I am particularly sympathetic to US minorities and their unique needs.

For me, no other discipline could bring the same level of personal, professional, or even spiritual satisfaction.

Thank you for your time and consideration. 

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