Hey friends. Here’s Samah’s personal statement as referenced in this video. Enjoy!
My determination to become a doctor comes from a strong interest in cardiovascular physiology, having lost all my grandparents to heart disease. Focussing on physiological systems and pharmacology in my degree, I have learnt to appreciate the depth of knowledge required to treat patients. Volunteering has fuelled my enthusiasm for caring for others whilst shadowing placements have given me a grasp of a doctor’s life and reinforced my commitment to medicine.
I witnessed the challenges doctors face delivering difficult news, such as when a couple struggling to conceive received the diagnosis of polycystic ovaries. The GP’s approach in dealing with the patient’s concerns showed me the importance of empathy and patient autonomy as he outlined treatment options. Observing orthopaedic surgeries exemplified the need for communication and teamwork in a multi-disciplinary team. I was inspired by the surgeon’s ability to make important decisions during surgery, a high-pressure environment, to reduce post-operative complications. Attending teaching sessions for junior doctors and the monthly Morbidity and Mortality review helped me understand how essential continuous learning is for doctors to stay abreast of medical advances and to minimise errors in patient care. By conversing with junior doctors, I learnt about the stresses of working long hours and rewarding aspects like discharging successfully treated patients. The varied nature of medical cases encountered and the range of roles a doctor’s job includes particularly attracted me.
Due to my interest in the complex pathogenesis of cardiac failure, I explored the academic basis for medical research through an optional dissertation on endogenous cardiotonic steroids by critically evaluating evidence for two conflicting views on their mechanism of action. I also organised a laboratory internship across two summers to research their role in uraemic cardiomyopathy to gain a deeper understanding. My research gave me insight into potential new therapies to treat the condition, highlighting how current research can translate into medical advances. This has excited and motivated me to pursue an academic career in medicine. It demonstrated the need for both constant improvement of existing therapies and innovation of new treatments to better practice patient beneficence.
As Team Leader for the Bedside Play Volunteers scheme in a children’s hospital, I have built my leadership skills, coordinating volunteer shifts and dealing with issues like low resources by improvising with new activities. For many years I have volunteered at the Alzheimer’s Society’s annual Memory Walk in memory of my grandmother. Supporting my local community of Alzheimer’s patients at monthly cafés has been rewarding as I can really connect with them. This has helped me develop patience and an empathetic manner. I have enjoyed mentoring students as a King’s Widening Participation Student Ambassador and e-mentor. Helping others to maximise their potential has improved my communication skills and I have taken this further in my role as Peer Support Coordinator for the Biomedical Sciences Society.
My enthusiasm for keeping fit motivated me to restart KCL FITE Club to address the lack of female-only exercise classes at university. It has given me great satisfaction as President to motivate a large committee, supporting them in their new roles. I find baking therapeutic and bake for charity events, including organising the annual Charity Week Bakeoff. Passing the King’s Leadership Award has allowed me to develop my leadership, teamwork and communication skills. I have learnt to use efficient time management skills to balance these activities with my degree.
My work experience and volunteering have strengthened my commitment to this intellectually challenging, yet highly rewarding career. I believe I have the academic aptitude, enthusiasm and motivation to become a doctor whilst contributing to medical research.