Oncology Residency, Chinese Applicant

I was an honors student in one of the finest medical schools in China, at the time that I watched one of my closest friends die of leukemia.  Observing her death before my eyes, gradually withering away, even after a bone marrow transplant, helped to trigger in me the burning desire to devote my life to oncology. At her funeral, I reflected on the way in which our health must be the highest priority in our lives.

 Over the years, I have watched with great enthusiasm how powerful new therapies have saved the lives of so many cancer patients who formerly would have been terminal. I believe that by participating in the residency/internship program at XXXX, I will receive the state-of-the-art, advanced training necessary to help develop and apply cutting edge therapies for various malignancies.

I grew up in a tiny rural village, deep in the heart of interior China. Our home was a thatched roof hut that was quite different from Western standards, yet it was filled with love.  I remember coming home from school, wading my way through a herd of cows and a flock of squawking chickens, lured by the aroma of my mother’s fragrant noodle soup. My parents were humble, hard working factory laborers who strongly encouraged me to do something different with my life.  They always told me never to give up.  Their solidarity continues to drive me forward until today.

 My own health issues were another factor in my decision to become a doctor. I had to stay in the hospital with a high fever for a full month on one occasion, before the annual, highly competitive nationwide entrance examination for university. Due to very limited resources in my hometown school, every year only 5-10% of high school graduates would be selected for university study.  For me, if I missed this chance, I could only spend my rest of life in the factory as a technician. I refused to give up and was admitted to medical college.

 My application is strengthened by the fact that, in addition to earning my MD Degree in China, I have also earned the Ph.D. Degree in Medicine, which required an additional 3 years of study.

 Those who work with cancer patients know that the will to live is a crucial element in long term survival.  Along with the advanced scientific training I have already received, I have also developed a grit and determination to push ahead in spite of heavy obstacles. In China, we call this “Rui Zhi,” (resolute, firm determination). I also hope to impart a deep sense of “Rui Zhi,” in my patients, instilling hope and determination to persevere in spite of the great challenges faced when one battles cancer.

I was working as scientist in a cancer center until this past April. No matter how much I enjoy medical research, however, I know that nothing is more fulfilling than direct patient care, especially when a patient is cured against all odds. Since I moved to the USA, I have had to adapt to a new environment, support my family, and get established, which has taken me several years. Now, therefore, I am working very hard to pursue my dream of becoming a highly accomplished oncologist.  I feel strongly that your program offers the best of both worlds; the opportunity to learn the latest breakthrough research at the same time that I have the privilege of increasing, intensive participation in patient care.

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