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Endocrinology Fellowship, Saudi Arabia

PURPOSE: The purpose behind my wanting to obtain a fellowship in endocrinology in the United States is to acquire the knowledge and training necessary to help raise the standard of treatment and patient care in my native country of Saudi Arabia. My country of origin is renowned for its oil fields and for being the hub of religious pilgrimage for Muslims from around the world during their holy month of Ramadan. What is not well known is that the population of Saudi Arabia is currently experiencing one of the highest rates of diabetes and other endocrine disorders in the world.  According to a report by the World Health Organization, a staggering thirty percent of the population over the age of fifty—one out of three people—is afflicted with this modern day scourge. We also have an unusually high prevalence of diabetes type 1 among children and adolescents.  Obesity is epidemic, especially among females. Moreover, almost one out of ten cancer patients in Saudi suffers from a thyroid malignancy.  The toll in human suffering from endocrine disorders is immense.  Although we have good medical schools and hospitals, we do not have the same elevated level of technological skills and medical awareness of the United States.  Although I have great interest in the management of diabetes, I would like to broaden my understanding and hone my professional skills in the general field of endocrinology. 

 Personal Background:  I was born and raised in Riyadh, a fairly modern city, beset with scorching heat and nestled among the billowing desert sand dunes.  Ever smiling camels still trot their way through the winding streets and colorful bazaars. My father is a retired agricultural expert who always has done his best to encourage me to pursue professional studies. During my adolescence, he developed diabetes type two.  Although he is a great person, he found it difficult to comply with the strict dietary and medical regimen required to bring his disease under control.  As a result, he, like many others in our country, has suffered from complications such as loss of vision and inflammation of his nervous system. Watching the debilitating effects of the disease in my father and other people I knew was a major motivating factor in my wanting to enter the medical field.  I want to do something to make a major difference in the quality of people’s lives.

 Professional Background: During my four years of residency, I obtained a broad experience in different specialties. My most memorable experience in treating a patient was when as a resident in ICU, I saw a thirty year old lady who was desperately ill from a non-malignant tumor in her pancreas.  When I saw her a year later after being cared for by her endocrinologist, she was so much better she looked like a completely different person.  This and similar positive experiences helped me to realize that endocrinology is the field to which I intend to devote my life.  In my years of training and professional experience, most of the cases of diabetes and other endocrine disorders I saw were already quite advanced.  This means we are still lagging in terms of an integrated collaborative system of public awareness/prevention/screening and proper follow-up. 

 SUMMARY: If selected for your fellowship in endocrinology, I would apply myself to my utmost in caring for patients.  I intend to learn the latest cutting edge treatments for diabetes and other disorders as well as the best methods of preventive care and how to increase public awareness in a society where endocrine disorders have reached epidemic proportions.

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