Meena’s visits to the hospital with her father as a child had a strong
impact on her. She has been a hospital volunteer and observer and is
contemplating a career in medicine. In her essay, Meena writes about
the influence medicine has had on her. At Hinsdale Central High
School, she also planned numerous public service events as the president
of the Key Club and played tennis as a state doubles champion
and as a member of her high school’s state champion team.
Visits to the Hospital - Princeton University
When I was a little girl, I used to go to the hospital with my dad. I would
sit in the waiting room while he went into the operating room and worked
his magic. After the operations, he would take me with him to talk to his
patients. Their gratitude and hopeful faces made me proud of my dad.
It made me want to be a doctor just like him and his dad. One could
just pass this off as a childhood fantasy, but I could not be more serious.
Throughout middle school and high school, science has always been my favorite
subject. Finding out about how things work and the foundations for
life intrigue me. At school, even in writing classes, I found medicine to be
the subject of paper after paper, thus allowing me to satiate my thirst for
knowledge in the field and getting a paper done for class at the same time.
I also tried to take the highest levels of science courses. I want to know
how one little mutated cell can cause an entire system to shut down with
cancer and if a cure for AIDS can ever be found. But this will only come
with a more thorough scientific education, which Princeton has to offer.
Over the summers of my high school years I volunteered at LaGrange Memorial
Hospital. I wanted to get as much exposure to the hospital as possible.
I started out at the family care and practices center and then moved
on to the gift shop. Both these experiences allowed me to interact with
patients and their relatives. The true test was to see if I would actually want
to perform the magic that my dad did behind the solid, white doors. He
allowed me to watch him scope a patient for an ulcer and I found his work
to be very interesting. As a result of my keen interest and excellent academic
performance, I was invited to attend the National Student Leadership
Conference for Medicine at Washington, D.C. There I got a true taste
of the nature of medical work. Not only did I get to see a video of a heart
transplant, but I also got to attend numerous lectures about the history of
medicine, organ transplants and research opportunities given by respected
physicians. These experiences have strengthened my desire to go into the
field of medicine.
My most important reason for wanting to be a doctor is because I care. I
hate to see people suffer. I remember visiting one of my dad’s patients in
a recovery room. He was a very nice old man. As we walked away, I also
remember my father telling me that he would die within a month, despite
everything my dad had done for him. I felt pain and regret stir up within
me. If I could, I would try and fi nd a cure for every disease that brings
pain to patients and their families and try to save everyone, but that is not
possible. But I do know that I can work as hard as I can to operate on a
patient and save his life. And I can run experiments in the lab and try to
find a way to develop a remedy for an incurable disease. I would also try to
prevent illnesses from consuming patients by taking preventive precautions
and teaching them what they can do to maintain healthy lives. Each person
is a precious individual, and I want to do my best to save each one that
may come into the care of my hands. For me, it is important that “to the
world I may be just one person, but to one person I may just be the world"
Why This Essay Succeeded
Every year countless students write about how they want to become
doctors, scientists, engineers or another dream profession. If you’re
one of them this year, set your essay apart from the others. Notice
Meena’s approach, which is focusing on why you are determined to
enter a specific career field. In her essay, Meena shows us the genesis
of her interest in medicine and why she feels so strongly about becoming
Meena also does not resort to platitudes. Of course, everyone wants to
help others and make a difference. But Meena provides examples of
why she feels the way she does about medicine. She shares her experience
volunteering at a hospital and what she’s learned through the
leadership conference. By describing her interaction with the patient,
she’s able to demonstrate why caring for a patient is important. Her
use of examples makes her statement that she hates to see others suffer
ring true and not hollow.
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