Qualities of Excellence Include:
- An interesting introduction
- A credible personal voice
- Specific details that emphasize dedication to helping others, scientific knowledge and research skills, a work ethic and compassion – all traits of a successful doctor
- A unity and coherence that allow the reader to easily follow his story
- A word choice and style that is befitting of an intelligent writer
A Personal Journey
“KNOWN FOR OUR EXPERTISE. CHOSEN FOR OUR CARE”, the sign read as I entered the main entrance to Albany Medical Center where my mom had been recovering from a heart valve replacement surgery. It was the last day of my two-week long vigil of helping her recover. As I neared her room, I could feel my heart pounding faster and faster and the palm of my hands starting to sweat, for I felt nervous and happy at the same time. As much as I wanted her home, I didn’t know if she was ready yet. For the last part of my high school years, I was engaged in the daily routine of helping her progress. Cutting her food and encouraging her to eat, lifting her frail body to and from the bed to a chair, holding her hand as she took her first steps with her right hand grasping my hand tightly as her other arm held the pillow close to her chest – these tasks seemed effortless as I observed the smile on her face when she met and overcame each new challenge, supported by not only by me but by the encouragement of the doctor. When the doctor entered the room, it was not only his medical expertise but his compassionate treatment of my mother that reassured her. After checking her heart daily, he changed her medication to normalize the beat and directed the nurses and techs to perform additional procedures. However, his most important significant act was when he held my mother’s hand, smiled gently, looked directly into her eyes, and said, “You will be fine.” With these words, there was no doubt that she would recover. Indeed, recognizing how dependent a person can be on a caregiver and how a doctor can bring a person back to life was the first stepping stone of my choice of a career as a physician.
The vulnerability and the reliance upon a caring individual that I witnessed in my experience with my mother was also evident in my involvement with children as a tennis instructor. Teaching tennis goes beyond just teaching a child how to hold a racket properly or how one should position them self when approaching a forehand shot. The fact that this experience goes beyond the court was clarified when I met two young children who were from Pakistan, my home country. The boys knew very little English as they had recently moved to America. It wasn’t until I started to instruct the children in my group lesson that I realized the language barrier. I spoke to the two children in English, “Did you understand what we are going to do.” When they looked at me with blank stares, I realized that they did not comprehend either my current or previous instructions. Therefore, I began to communicate with them in their native tongue, Urdu. Within the first few words spoken, I could see their eyes light up, and smiles forming on their mouths. In recognition of my directions, I felt a glow inside me, as it was the same feeling I had felt in aiding my mother along her journey through her recovery. In that moment, I knew that helping children of all different types of backgrounds and abilities had to be the major focus of my life. And this focus became the primary goal of my research at The College of Saint Rose.
For the past three years, under the supervision of Dr. Ann Zeeh, I have been extensively studying the plant species Moringa oleifera, which is known for its wide pharmacological and medicinal benefits. My research is examining for possible signs of cell morphology changes of cancerous neuroblastoma cells into normal nerve cells exposed to Moringa oleifera extracts, an occurrence in children ages five and under. Knowing that my findings may help children afflicted with this disease, motivated me to pursue additional research experiences at SUNY College of Nanoscale Sciences and Engineering and the Neural Stem Cell Institute. The countless number of hours I spent looking through the microscope and the times my eyes ached, are insignificant in comparison to knowing that my research may be able to aid medical sciences in treating neuroblastoma. Such knowledge has inspired me even further to pursue a career as a physician and thereby help those most in need.
Therefore, from the first time I observed Albany Medical Center’s slogan, “KNOWN FOR OUR EXPERTISE. CHOSEN FOR OUR CARE, to this moment, I have come to better understand its meaning. Becoming a physician goes beyond the “expertise” and understanding of a pathology and determining the best means of treating it. Becoming a physician also requires one to possess sincerity and the passion to “care” for those who are in need. My three years at the College of Saint Rose, as well as my three years in various research labs, have academically prepared me for the challenges and rigor I may face. And my experience in working with many diverse groups in the community has given me the compassion to understand and build relationships with people of all backgrounds. For these reasons, I want to devote my energies to pursuing a career in medicine.