Medicine Personal Statement
Before coming to university I didn't realise just how much I wanted to become a doctor. To help me confirm whether dedicating the rest of my own life to the lives of other people was the right decision, I undertook three long-term volunteering placements. Between October 2007 and January 2008 I worked as a Ward Befriender on one of the renal wards at the Royal London Hospital. On a weekly basis I visited the patients at their bedside, engaging them in conversation and taking the time to listen to their concerns. While at times it was an incredibly difficult experience to see people in pain or deteriorating week-on-week, I endeavoured not to let this affect my work and remained a friendly face to help take their mind away from their treatment. This experience gave me a newfound respect for nurses and an insight to the practical workings of an NHS healthcare team. From January until the exam term I moved to the Reception to work as Hospital Welcomer. This required a thorough knowledge of all the hospital wards and departments, and I soon learned to connect with patients and their relatives at the hospital's front line.
Over the course of the last 12 months as a volunteer for St. John Ambulance I have treated many patients at a variety of public events. I've been fortunate enough to attend training courses and formally certify my skills with four first aid qualifications, which I have already used to make a difference both at work and out in the community, cementing my desire to specialise in emergency medicine.
My degree in Medical Engineering has taken me from foundation engineering principles to increasingly specialist modules like Urology and Clinical Ethics. Teaching methods ranged from self-study, group and PBL exercises to working with cells under the microscope in the laboratory. Our fourth year group project centres on manipulating a proprietary bone substitute material called "Actifuse" so that it can be surgically implanted in spinal fusion procedures. While challenging, the opportunity to be involved in a real-life clinical solution has encouraged me to further my interest in medicine by reading around the subject.
I have worked in a team of Residential Stewards in the halls of residence where I was responsible for the pastoral care of the students, as well as reacting to emergency situations like fire alarms. My role was later extended to managing that team as Senior Steward. I was able to refer to my experiences here when working towards the Leadership and Management Award. In today's NHS at a time when doctors are increasingly seen as team leaders, the management skills I have gained first hand will no doubt be invaluable.
I am a firm believer that there is more to the university experience than study. I learned to snowboard through my participation in the University of London Ski and Snowboard Club and I'm looking forward to my fourth trip to the French Alps - as always it will be an excellent opportunity to wind down after the hard work of the preceding semester. I also made many friends through the College's Engineering Society. My other hobbies include music - I play keyboard at grade 3 - and I relax between study sessions by regularly attending my local gym.
The development of my preferred study styles using the "Insights" model will help me to cope with the considerable workload of a medical degree, and my NCFE in Equality and Diversity has helped me adapt to work more effectively with a wider variety of people. I believe my engineering perspective and varied experiences both in study and at work offer clear advantages over traditional applicants as well as graduates from other degree programmes.
Universities Applied To:
- Queen Mary, University of London (Graduate Entry) - Interview, Rejected
- Warwick (Graduate Entry) - Offer
- Kings College London (Graduate Entry) - Rejected
- Sheffield (with Foundation Year) - Interview, Rejected
- GCSE: 9 A*, 2 A
- AS: Further Maths (b)
- A' Level: Maths (A), Physics (A), English Language (A), French (B)
- Degree: MEng Medical Engineering at the time of application (BEng Medical Engineering 2:i at acceptance)