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Sample Personal Statement for Medical Imaging

Like many others, I practice long-distance running everyday. Whenever I feel exhausted from running, I would keep reminding myself of my favorite aphorism: Where there is a will, there is a way. My experiences in the past few years make me acutely conscious that this aphorism holds true for me on two levels, whether I am engaged in trudging along the physical track of earth and dust under my feet, or whether I will embark on that even more extended, more unpredictable course of life in the future.

I was born into an average working-class family in an impoverished small town in HeNan Province. The relatively small and confined community in which I grew up did not prevent me from developing an ambition of pursuing the high. On the contrary, my intimate knowledge and experience of the actual conditions of life of the common people sowed the seeds of compassion and responsibility in my impressionable heart early in my childhood. Witnessing how the working-class people in the little town anguished under the crushing tortures of diseases and how my cousin had to suffer both physiological and psychological pains for her congenital hare lips, I cherished the incipient desire to devote myself to the study of medicine whereby I could save the lives of the diseased, or at least alleviate their physical agonies.

Inspired by this early determination, I surmounted a series of unimaginable difficulties in my studies and, through the highly competitive National College Entrance Examination, succeeded in entering HeBei Medical College as the 2nd top student , majoring in medical imaging. For the sake of building up a solid groundwork in my area of specialization, I made utmost exertions during my undergraduate studies to achieve a relatively high GPA (85) which ranked me among the top 3 percent of the 150 students in my grade. In addition, I was awarded the College's first-class scholarship together with the honor of Model Student.

As I delved deeper into medical sciences, I became increasingly aware that it would be virtually impossible to become an outstanding doctor simply by mastering the medical knowledge taught at the School of Medical Technology. Therefore, I took a highly challenging examination administered by Peking Union Medical College, the success of which (as the second best among 450 examination participants) allowed me the opportunity to pursue advanced studies at that most prestigious medical institution of higher learning in China. Even at this fiercely competitive college, I managed to secure a GPA of 87, which enabled me to remain among the top 5 students.

Upon graduation, I found employment with a clinic as a resident radiologist. It was not long before I discovered the small clinic too restrictive for my growing ambition. I would never feel contented unless I could apply the theoretical knowledge I had acquired to real practice and explore new horizons. I drew up my mind that I would try, with my own efforts, to find employment with a truly comprehensive hospital where I could be more serviceable to society. I had no personal connections to utilize, and I never deigned to do so. In order to find a hospital that could make possible my personal development, I relinquished all my spare-time relaxations and tirelessly visited the personnel departments of many major hospitals in Beijing. I should say that during this difficult period I felt rather indebted to the formative environment in my childhood and to my experience of long-distance running, because they both cultivated in me the precious spirit of dedication and perseverance. My hard efforts finally paid off. I was recruited by the Children's Hospital of Beijing Chongwen District, the hospital where I have been working ever since.

Although this is not a too big hospital, I highly treasure the hard-won opportunity. I knew that it is professional commitment and competent performance, instead of high-sounding self-adulation, that make a good doctor. During the past few years, I concentrated myself on improving my technical competence by embarking on a wide range of high-level further training including Ultrasonics and CT Diagnosis. For the past decade, I have accumulated abundant experience from my clinical practice. In 1997, I won the first prize for Diagnostic Radiology at the Professional Skill Competition for All Hospitals of Beijing Chongwen District. In 1999, I published a treatise entitled A Case Study of Sturge-Weber Syndrome, which was presented at the National Symposium on Medical Imaging. The propositions that I raised in this treatise aroused the general concern of the symposium participants.

On account of my distinguished performance, the hospital authorities appointed me secretary of the Association of Young Doctors of the hospital. With my sustained efforts and the manifest achievements, I received the honor of Model Doctor of Beijing Chongwen District. In 1995, I started to be actively involved in an innovative campaign of "Domiciliary Ward" designed to create a family atmosphere for hospitalized invalids. With the common efforts of my teammates, we were conferred the honor of Prominent Youths of Beijing Municipality.

My childhood experiences serve as a constant reminder that a good doctor must always entertain a strong sense of responsibility and a sacred sense of mission. Only when morally bound by such an obligation will a doctor be fully prepared to exercise profound understanding and compassion for the patients when he undertakes to heal the wounded and rescue the dying. In the course of my medical practice in the past decade, I act in strict accordance with my benevolence and conscience. My relationship with the patients has been characterized by patience and congeniality and no quarrel whatsoever has happened. I also played an active role in the Youth Volunteers program in which young doctors offered free medical check-ups to the elderly people in the community geracomium. Although I am not an eloquent person, I believe that actions are the most powerful expressions of love and magnanimity.

My clinical experience during the past decade makes me painfully aware that, technologically, China's medical imaging at the present stage must be described as backward. Meanwhile I have come to recognize that the primary condition for materializing development in the field of medical imaging in China is by assimilating advanced technologies and experience from developed countries like the United States. Therefore, to pursue advanced studies abroad has become my most fervent wish.

In order to fulfill such an ardent desire, I utilized most of my spare time --- without neglecting my proper responsibilities --- improving my English proficiency. For the past ten years, I took more than 10 English courses offered by night schools. Over the years, I moved my house for six times as I attended different night schools in different localities. I used to travel at least 25 miles between my home, my hospital and the night school on the bicycle. For one year, my busy schedule virtually deprived me of any chance to enjoy my child's company. Eventually, my English aptitude improved significantly, an important achievement which enabled me to work as a part-time teacher of English at the College of Pharmaceutical Sciences of Beijing University.

To my mind, an essential asset that is closely intertwined with assimilating useful experiences from the outside world is creative reasoning. Innovation and creativity make possible genuine breakthroughs in a particular field. In order to enhance my aptitude in creative thinking, I took part in a "Creativity Training Program", the result of which is my invention of the Electrothermal Scalding-safe Aluminium Lunch Box. It is a portable device which provides great convenience to Chinese patients during their hospitalization. The National Patent Administration issued me a patent for this invention.

I have long appreciated the motto inscribed on the metal gate of the Kennedy Space Center of the United States: If I can dream it, I can do it. I believe that I am in possession of a firm linguistic foundation necessary for overseas studies. My family life is becoming increasingly stable, which means I can leave behind my family members for a few years to undertake an advanced degree program abroad. Finally, my rich work experience derived from the past 10-year clinical practice has clearly defined for me the objective of my intellectual pursuit---Medical Imaging. I am fully convinced that, with all those requisite conditions, my dream of pursuing further studies abroad, improving my existing technical qualifications, and contributing to the technological development of China's medical imaging shall not remain a mere dream.


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