The Illiterate of The Future

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As it was truly said by Alvin Toffler--"The illiterate of the future are not those who can't read or write but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and re-learn." I think no matter in which field one is, one should always try to master the field by being a lifelong learner. Having managed a vast range of pathological conditions, gaining tremendous clinical experience and acquiring a postgraduate degree in General Medicine in India my quest for intellectual fulfillment and thirst for knowledge is still as vivid as a blooming bud. The more I learnt the more I wanted to know. This eternal pursuit for education and clinical experience made me turn towards internal medicine residency program in United States of America. As I see internal medicine is an ocean of medical science that requires an enduring compassion and unruffled perseverance to not only ace the clinical acumen but also to emerge as a good physician in providing health care to my community.

I do not remember ever wanting to do anything else (I have always envisioned myself as a doctor from childhood). May be because my parents always told me I would be a doctor one day. But it was not really until that night in the winter of 1992, that I felt an enduring zeal to become a physician when I saw my grandfather die of jaundice in remote village in south India. The last two days of his life were so horrific, he became very agitated and I could see the anguish in his eyes he was going through. This incident left an indelible mark in my mind that made me strive towards my goal of pursuing a medical profession. I feel as doctors we are given a chance not only to help people when they are vulnerable but also to improve their lives through scientific approach and compassionate care which is empowering.

My journey in Medical College has been molded by guiding hands of several exceptional academicians who invested immeasurable personal and professional resources into my training that helped me build a strong foundation in basic sciences and clinical medicine. It did not take long to realize that internal medicine is my calling. My first clinical rotation in medicine department during early third year has been a time of profound intellectual and personal growth. It gave me an opportunity for close patient interaction and taught me a great deal, including attention to detail, careful problem solving, and the importance of the application of principles of pathophysiology in to clinical medicine to come to a diagnosis. My desire to pursue internal medicine further consolidated during medicine clerkship. One day when I was in rounds along with my team in the medicine ward we had this young female patient who presented to us with hemiplegia. I was evaluating her for stroke in young patient, on the second day of her admission when our team was doing rounds, my attending asked for the progress in the case I started reading out all the investigations that we did, he stopped me in the middle and asked me to tell her vital data, when I told him that the pulses are absent in her left hand, he said there you are, you got the diagnosis, I was very much thrilled at the same time confused, then he asked me what is the other name for pulse less disease, I said Takayasu arteritis. When The Doppler report also confirmed the diagnosis; I was on cloud nine that I diagnosed a rare disease. but those words which my attending said on that day still keep echoing in my ears that a doctor should have eagles eye(ability to catch the minutest detail even from a distance), ladies fingers(the precision in physical findings) and a lions heart(brave heart) to be a good physician. I followed her for 8months, till she gained seventy percent of her power in the limbs. This experience made me realize that Internal medicine is one of the most versatile medical specialties that gives me the opportunity for compassionate patient care with huge diversity in clinical experience with wide range of pathological conditions and involves working in every subspecialty requiring broad fund of knowledge which is intellectually stimulating. It also provides strong patient relationship which is accomplishing.

Throughout my education though I performed well academically in basic sciences and clinical medicine, I placed great emphasis in learning solid persuasive communication skills and strategies to facilitate pro-health behavior change among patients that help prevent chronic diseases and better patient management .During my residency training I realized that internal medicine exemplifies four facets of patient care that I find most appealing: holism, humanity, diversity, and continuity. The experience of working as an independent researcher for my thesis on -"evaluation of microalbuminuria in the offspring of diabetic and hypertensive patients" during my residency training helped me acquire the qualities of critical thinking, intellectual curiosity, perseverance and precision that would help me become a good clinician with a scholarly approach to clinical medicine. I feel as clinical researchers we are given a chance to make some of the most monumental changes to the future of medicine which is empowering. Teaching undergraduates as a resident enlightened the importance of being a lifelong learner to be a good teacher. I have also nurtured my role as community leader through working as a vice president for resident"„¢s welfare association. I gained experience in building and maintaining collaborative relationships between administrative staff, clinicians and other health care professionals.

Being broadly trained in primary care and providing years of compassionate and dedicated patient care during my residency I have acquired strong ability to manage difficult cases with maturity and responsibility for better patient outcome. The diverse clinical experiences and intellectual challenges that I encountered while rotating through various subspecialties of internal medicine, helped me gain a much deeper appreciation for the importance of evidence-based medicine. To me there is no other field in medicine that more precisely drives the synthesis of evidence based medicine, research and education while keeping all of the needs of the patient central.

Personal characteristics which can make me an exceptional physician include dedication, motivation hard work, compassionate patient care and strong ability to be a team player. Having worked for long hours and undergoing rigorous training during my residency, I have the ability to cope up with stressful conditions. Though I want to be a clinical physician and to contribute my best to society and to individual lives in particular-to truly make a difference, I intend to have a balance between teaching, education and research in my career.

I am looking for a program that has strong academics with research facilities that will provide me with the opportunity to practice medicine, to teach, and gives me the scope to pursue fellowship in future. I am open to be challenged with difficult cases and diverse clinical situations that would stimulate me intellectually and will keep my quest for learning and education blooming. In turn I intend make a great contribution to my program by bringing in enthusiasm, hard work, dedication and make my best possible contributions to the health of the community in which I live. My future goals are to become a good physician, academician