1.WHO ARE YOU: What one adjective best describes you and why? Limit your answer to one paragraph of approximately 50 words.
Perseverance: I was unable to go to medical school when I was young, because my family did not have enough money. I worked the past ten years in order to secure the necessary funds. Now, after years of determination, I have the means to complete my medical degree. Every endeavor was done with the mindset that I will ultimately become a physician.
1.MOTIVATION: What motivated you to want to become a physician? Limit your answer to one or two paragraphs for a total of approximately 150 words when describing an experience, event, natural interest, family influences, or other motivating factors. Please do not include your personal statement.
In my youth in a small community in the countryside of Fiji I learned physicians working for communities lacking services can be over-run by people in need. The physicians structured their worked based on class and income, which means children from poor families at times had to wait several days to see a physician. My father was an elementary school principal in the community, and people came to him for help. My father used his position to ask the physicians to see children who were in urgent need of treatment. When I realized this need it started to desire to become a physician myself to help those could not afford medical treatment. I was prevented from realizing this dream at the time due to the prohibitive cost of medical school, and there were no loans or grants available in Fiji. These early childhood influences and later life experiences and observations in Fiji have motivated me to become a physician.
HOBBIES & SKILLS: Do you have any unique or special talents, skills or experiences that you would like to describe succinctly? This is where you would briefly discuss hobbies, interests or extracurricular activities outside of your medical education or career. Please keep this to 50 words.
I like traveling and meeting people. Over the past 38 years, I have had the privilege of traveling to and living in a variety of countries. In addition to living and studying in Fiji, my home country, I have also lived and worked in New Zealand, India and the United States. In New Zealand, I completed my undergrad degree and teacher training, then later taught chemistry at high school level. Ten years later, I taught high school chemistry in Florida and California. However, my work experiences are not limited to universities and high schools; I also worked as a housekeeper at a ski resort in Colorado one year. By working in both schools and in manual labor positions, I have learned to appreciate the world of academia and the world of the working class. I do not see myself as belonging to either one exclusively, but rather am an amalgamation of them all. Recently, I traveled to India to finish science courses in pursuit of a medical degree, after working and saving enough money to begin my medical studies officially.
These experiences have allowed me learn about different cultures in a profoundly deep and meaningful way. More than just a tourist, I have learned to be more culturally aware and can easily adapt, focus and work in a variety of different environments. I have learned that content, knowledge and good pedagogy transcend cultural lines and differences; that the formulas of chemistry, the communication of scientific ideas and interactive and compassionate teaching are the same in across the world, no matter what country or language. The universal concepts of science are what fascinate me, and connecting with a variety of different people around science and medicine has helped me see how important it is to help others outside of one’s own familiar world.