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Cardiology Residency, Bosnian Applicant

May 15, 2015


I was born in Sarajevo, a city known for their winter Olympic Games, during the time my parents were going through their university years.  Our entire family immigrated to the United States in the 1950’s, 60’s and 70’s.    I grew up in New York City, where I obtained all of my elementary and high school education.  I went to a catholic elementary school and one the top four public high schools in New York City at the time, Aviation High School, which had excellent advanced college preparation courses in physics, biology and chemistry.   I took some courses in Hunter College, New York, to prepare for Medical School in Europe.  At that time, living in New York was hard and my only way out was through education.  I looked up to my uncle and other doctors in my family.   My brother and I both decided to pursue careers in the medical field.

Once in Croatia’s capital city, Zagreb, it was challenging to adapt to the local language, curriculum and oral exams in Croatian, even though most books were direct translations of English Text Books (Guyton, Harrisons, etc., with which I paralleled in English).  After integrating with some of the country’s best students, I persevered and lived up to these challenges. During my medical training I learned responsibility and compassion for the welfare of patients and I felt drawn to the clinical sciences and enjoyed each rotation with curiosity and freshness.   Unfortunately, while in the course of my medical studies, a war broke out in Croatia and other Balkan countries in that part of Europe, which was not something I thought would ever happen in our modern times.

During my continuous medical studies, and while witnessing a lot of pain and suffering, I was compelled to help in any way, both in and out of the medical arena.  I accomplished this through working with the Red Cross, United States Embassy and in the medical field with trauma patients, as well as extra hours in the forensic medical department.  Walter Reed Army Medical Center had their Mobile Hospital set up at the local International Airport, where I volunteered and was involved with multiple surgical cases.

Seeing and directly being there in the middle of senseless suffering made me an even stronger person in regards to humanitarian needs.  I would not be the same doctor if I did not participate in the humanitarian services that I was involved with, and which gave me a better perspective on life and death and how valuable life is.                                                                                                                                                                   

After the war ended and spread to the neighboring Balkan countries, I graduated Medical School and wrote a research paper and thesis with my mentor, Professor Klapan, from the Maxillofacial Surgical Department.  The thesis was on squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck, which I had to present to a committee board of professors.  After graduating, I also worked in the emergency room department in Zagreb, Croatia, for eight months to acquire additional emergency room skills.

After moving back to the United States, I was introduced to a group of cardiologists with the XXXX Clinic in Lakeland, Florida, who invited me to spend time with them. There, I saw what a luxury it was to practice medicine with natural ailments (diabetes, hypertension, coronary artery disease, etc.) compared to the trauma of war time medicine.  At the XXXX Clinic and the XXXX Regional Medical Center, I attended weekly academic meetings and spent time in a catheter lab, as well as rounds and observing open heart surgeries.  XXXX Regional Medical Center was at that time, one of the national centers on the cutting edge of having cardiac intervention STEMI protocols, where they had a 24-7 prevention team, which later became standard of practice.  

I always made it a point to stay in a clinical setting while studying for my certification exams.  However, at the same time I needed to sustain myself financially; therefore, I worked as a Patient Care Coordinator at the XXXX Medical Care Clinic in the Tampa Bay, Florida area.  There, I managed to continue interacting with patients.   I met other physicians that were kind enough to let me shadow them and keep up a variety of clinical skills.  I also found time and opportunities to attend various conferences and pharmaceutical lectures.                                                                                                                           

I believe that I am a great candidate for your residency program as I have the knowledge, experience and exposure to a variety of somewhat unique things in the medical field. I am very able to connect and communicate with people and I can offer you compassion, hard work and commitment and I look forward to hearing from you in the very near future. Thank you.

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