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Sample Personal Statement for Family Medicine Residency, Doctor from the Philippines

I hope to contribute to the diversity of your especially distinguished medical residency program in Family Medicine at the University of XXXX as a multilingual woman doctor originally from the Philippines. I could not be more dedicated to my chosen field - Family Practice Medicine - or more excited about the prospect of beginning my residency training at the University of XXXX. A full immersion experience in your rigorous program will prepare me for a lifetime of excellence in Family Medicine, staying engaged with research, ongoing medical education, volunteer activities in the community and within time my own private practice.

For several years now, I have been developing a special focus on injury prevention (both sport and workplace related), connecting with individuals and organizations that promote public, preventive medical education. I am also especially well read in the literature concerning Geriatric Health and the enhancement of quality of life at home as well as in residential facilities. With respect to Pediatric Health, the area that I know best is emotional well-being; and I am especially engaged with the literature dealing with the impact of drug abuse and alcoholism on families, particularly with an eye on prevention.

I hope to be selected in part on the basis of my extensive engagement with mental health issues and my passion for preventive approaches in this area as well, address the kinds of mental health issues that commonly arise in families before they become serious issues or chronic conditions. I also look forward to promoting mental health as an inherent and all-too-often-overlooked, integral part of good health and well begin as a whole. Thus, I plan to devote myself for the long term to helping people who struggle with mental health issues in the family to get access to the help that they need and to learn the tools that are useful for achieving and maintaining an optimal statement of health, mental as well as physical.

As a resident in your Family Medicine Program, I plan to reconnect with the medical outreach foundation in which I was active as a medical student in the Philippines. It is also my long-term goal to devote considerable time and energy to Canadian-Philippine medical missions to underserved areas of our island chain in the place where I grew up in. Thus, I see my future as consisting of service as an active member of the community where I practice here in North America, as well as the Philippines, my community of origin. My father and grandfather, both doctors, always told me about the importance of “hope plus action.” They embodied this in their own medical outreach programs to far flung villages in the Philippines. Their work has inspired me to always practice kindness and promote optimism.

On the first year of exploring my career options here in Canada, I had the good fortune to meet an IMG from the Philippines, then a Family Medicine resident at St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver. As she spoke of the significant role that Canadian family physicians play in the promotion of healthy lifestyles, sharing the details of her extensive training. I felt a growing sense of promise. Every word aligned with the way I wanted to practice medicine.

While gaining extensive experience as an Assistant Instructor in Rehabilitation, many people, colleagues and patients alike encouraged me to pursue my dream of practicing Family Medicine. After being granted an educational license to work with Surrey physician Dr. Janice Peace in her family practice, a whole new world of promising opportunity opened up before my eyes and I became increasingly skilled at engaging patients in their own health decisions.

Family Medicine as ideal for teaching patients about injury prevention, healthy lifestyle, and life-saving screening tests and the UBC Family Medicine Program holds special appeal for me because of the opportunity to train and practice in rural settings, bringing health care to remote areas and providing access to the underserved, something in which I have already been engaged alongside my father and grandfather throughout my lifetime.

I look forward to gaining more confidence in the field of Obstetrics, in particular, and improving on my surgical skills, constantly fine-tuning my critical thinking through interaction with my supervisors and fellow residents. I look forward to decades of practice in Canada as a family physician distinguished most of all by my compassion and dedication to my patients and colleagues.

I thank you for considering my application for a residency position in Family Medicine at UXX.

Sample 1st Paragraph for Residency Position in Family Medicine

I am a physician in Iran who is extremely devoted to the cause of women’s health. I am so fully aware of the fact that in my country, Iran, we have so much to learn. We look to the West to help us. This is why I humbly ask for the privilege of serving as a Family Physician with your distinguished institution. It is my hope that after serving as a resident for several years, I will be able to learn the most valuable of tools, and the wisdom that I will need when I return to Iran to do everything for the cause of women’s health in my own country. As the Middle East is once again turning into a ball of fire, we are going to need many physicians with exceptional training to help save the lives of families caught up in our conflicts. I am not optimistic about Middle East politics. And I look forward to helping.

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Family Medicine Residency Personal Statement, Algerian Doctor, Arabic, French

A medical doctor from Algeria, for the last several years I have been making my home with my husband in Massachusetts, working towards a full resumption of my career as a doctor here in the USA. I could not be happier as part of the medical community here in America; I cannot wait to get to Cambridge Health Alliance Hospital each day where I have been serving as a volunteer Health Advisor since February of this year, 2017. I also became a Registered Medical Assistant this past May, 2017. In addition to English, I am a native speaker of Arabic and also fully fluent in French. Thus, I look forward to always being on call if and when the need arises for a doctor capable of providing medical care in these languages in addition to English.

In most of my spare time, I read about Family Medicine and, although most of my specialty training so far has been in the area of Otolaryngology and Head and Neck Surgery, I feel strongly that it is in Family Medicine where I could best realize my full potential in medicine, especially since I long to be on the front lines of service to the underserved in my community. Family Medicine is the area that will train me to do the greatest good in the future, providing holistic medicine to families in great need.

In addition to my preparation here in the USA, I feel that my extensive experience practicing medicine in a busy University Hospital in Algeria, attending to a wide range of cases for more than 5 years (October 2004 - April 2010), will help me to hit the ground running in your program. I am a quick learner who is keenly looking forward to long hours on my feet for the fullest immersion experience possible in Family Medicine.

The extensive immersion experience in Community Health that I have had the privilege of obtaining this year, an observership, shadowing and assisting Dr. XXXX in Fitchburg MA, has me convinced that I have a lot to contribute to the practice of medicine in the USA. I selected Dr. XXXX primarily on the basis of the fact that such a large part of the patients that he sees are low-income families with no health insurance, often of minority communities that are in need of the greatest support, many homeless and elderly patients.

I have been active as a volunteer both before and since I came to the USA. Here in Massachusetts, I have been assisting as a Health Advisor offering blood pressure and diabetes screenings along with nutrition counseling. I also work hard to provide the members of our community with tobacco cessation tools. I have volunteered with a local program fighting drug addiction and Wic, helping the poor find access to food. For me, local community is not just geographic but also faith-based. A member of the Muslim community, I volunteer with the SAWA Association, helping needy members find access to healthcare. I am also involved with a quality assessment/improvement project in Fitchburg that seeks to help patients with frequent visits to the emergency room to find a regular doctor who is able to care for them as out patients. In this way, their medical condition can be controlled by a primary care physician so that it does not reach the chronic stages or episodes that result in a visit to the emergency room.

After graduation from medical school, I joined one of the more competitive otolaryngology residency programs in Algeria and treated people of all ages with a variety of head to neck pathologies for half a decade. I had to think quickly and stay focused under stressful conditions – especially since surgery was included in my training and responsibilities. I was also responsible for teaching medical students in this area.

My passion for helping those with limited access to medical care was greatly advanced during my residency program when I spent a full year working in a hospital in Tamanrasset, a remote city in the Sahara. The only otolaryngologist in the region, it was a great challenge. I also volunteered to support a team of doctors visiting Tinzawatene, known as “seven kilometers of hell” and “a place of death,” it was filled with refugees from civil wars in Mali and Nigeria, traumatized and unvaccinated children, nomads who had never seen a doctor before, etc. We did not have enough resources to help everyone. This experience has helped me to prepare for treating refugees from all over the world, the poor, homeless, transient, needy.

I take pride and find great joy on being a multilingual woman doctor from the Developing World preparing for the front lines of Family Medicine directed towards the underserved. I thank you for considering my application to join your team in Family Medicine.

Family Medicine Faculty members discuss clinical excellence

Meet Heather, a family medicine resident at St. John's.

Sample 1st Paragraph for a Residency Position in Family Medicine, Cape Verdean

I hope to begin a residency position in Family Medicine in the State of Massachusetts, USA. Originally from Cape Verde, I completed medical school in Cuba. I am fully fluent in English, Spanish and Portuguese and have basic ability in French – in addition to being a native speaker of Cape Verdean Creole. I look forward to receiving the finest medical education and experience in the world as a resident in Family Medicine in Massachusetts. My central, long term, professional goal is to put my linguistic - alongside my medical - skills to work on behalf of the advancement of Family Medicine in the Developing World, not only in the Caribbean but also in Africa, and Latin America, particularly with regard to those countries in which I am fully fluent in the language.

The Humanitarian Side of Family Medicine

Many family physicians go on humanitarian operations in the developing world, or have considered going on one. There are countless organizations that will help you get there, and provide you with the logistic support you’ll need when you land. Here are some of the best ones (both secular and non-secular examples):


How to Make the Most Out of Your Humanitarian Mission

The first recommendation from doctors with considerable experience going on humanitarian assistance operations through the U.S. Armed Forces is that you plan to provide your own transportation and meals, since most events are not funded.

They also point to the following recommendations:

  • Plan and research your target region before you step onto the plane.
    • New missions should be coordinated with the U.S. Agency for International Development, which is guided by the Department of State.
    • Organize a meeting with the regional medical officer of the host nation, who may provide you with some crucial data on local disease prevalence, seasonality of diseases and referral hospitals. It´s essential that you know where to refer very ill patients, of course, for example. Local officials can often be key to a smooth operation.
    • Visit the regional hospital in your target area to learn how local physicians diagnose and treat regionally significant diseases.
    • Determine credentialing requirements and medical liability for visiting physicians. Neither is required in most cases!
    • The formulary should be based on the safety profile and effectiveness of each drug, and the ability to affect a cure in a single dose reduces the possibility of doing harm to a patient due to dosage misunderstandings.
    • Don´t try to force any changes to existing protocols, formularies, or infrastructure that won´t be sustainable once the mission is over!
  • Take a flexible approach to the work
    • Working in a developing country will always be a challenge for a doctor who´s accustomed to working in a certain way with certain resources on hand. It may be shocking to you how substandard the facilities and resources are at your chosen location, so flexibility and creativity will serve you well.
  • Prepare your team for diseases, language barriers and evacuation
    • Make sure your team members have the appropriate immunizations and malaria prophylaxis.
    • Establish a medical evacuation plan in the event of severe illness in or injury to a team member. Most organizations require commercial medical or evacuation insurance.
    • If you don´t speak the language, find a vetted interpreter to prevent any misunderstandings from occurring while treating and communicating with patients and staff at your facility.
    • Learn local greetings, polite phrases and the local manners.
  • Maintain excellent levels of security.
    • The importance of crowd control cannot be overemphasized. Even if you help hundreds of patients, that angry mob at the end of the day will decrease the good will of your efforts and influence how satisfied you feel with the work you are able to do. Under-promise and over-deliver where possible. Enlist local authority figures like mayors, chiefs or elders to help control the crowd.
    • Avoid doing “giveaways”, which can create high levels of chaos. That includes water, food, candy, and even empty water bottles! These items and any surplus supplies can be managed by a local official for distribution once your mission is over.
  • Do a short training program.
    • Getting a certificate for a short competency-based preparatory course for healthcare professionals who are interested in or planning to provide humanitarian aid and/or disaster response can´t do any harm!
  • Take a team photograph!
    • Doing humanitarian work can really fire you up, giving you a lasting sense of perspective on your own challenges, a renewed desire and enthusiasm to study medicine as a result of the clinical questions that may arise, and experiences that change your attitude to the world around you permanently. Taking the time to stop and get a good photograph of your team will help keep these memories and changes alive, both for yourself and your team.

The International Family Medicine Fellowship serves the poor, under-served and developing countries.