Walmart Personal Statement

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Wal-Mart’s non-branded, generic acetaminophen was a panacea in my household. During my childhood, all ailments were managed with a $2.15 bottle of unlabeled white pills until a doctor’s visit was unavoidable. This is because the $30 copay for a brief ten minute doctor appointment represented five hours of my father’s $6 hourly wage. He sought overtime to help make ends meet. Ends seldom met.
When my brother started having vision problems, we sought care from a fellow immigrant physician. He was the only physician who accepted Medicaid and spoke Urdu, my parents’ native language. Despite worsening symptoms, the physician refused a referral to a retinal specialist outside our network coverage. My father lost many precious hours of work as we …show more content…

My brother’s current ophthalmologist directs my family to the appropriate care he requires. With his guidance, my parents, without a formal education beyond high school, feel comfortable navigating the complex resources he needs. I have seen the powerful impact an empathetic, responsive physician can make.
My experiences in my own underserved community, as well as the one I worked in as a Teach for America corps member, have shown me how desperately we need quality physicians. I want to be that physician and provide healthcare tailored to the underserved.
During my two years with Teach for America, I taught chemistry at Booker T. Washington High School in Overtown, Florida. This is one of the most impoverished neighborhoods in Miami. Once called “Colored Town” and considered the center of black culture and commerce, it was decimated when highway I-95 was built right through the center of town in the 1960s. The overpass was a refuge for the homeless — some of whom were my students. I witnessed gaps in healthcare within the community. For example, one student had a bladder infection that turned into a serious kidney infection when she could not arrange transportation for follow-up appointments. I saw a community forced to sacrifice preventative care, only to suffer a greater burden in the future. When people experience sedentary lifestyles, substance abuse, and poor nutrition, …show more content…

During my time as a clinical research assistant, I was fascinated by the dynamics of physician-patient encounters. Exploring patients’ experiences of healthcare, I had the opportunity to work on various projects concerning pain and depression in patients with scleroderma. I analyzed associations and differences in pain and depression assessments between physicians and patients. In another clinical trial, I sat in a freezer with a participant in testing a drug to measure its effectiveness against Raynaud’s syndrome. Pain levels were recorded as medications were applied to the patient’s hands. Upon the completion of my first year, one of the projects assessing depression symptoms was accepted for publication. I felt rewarded in conducting original research identifying opportunities to improve care. I hope to use these analytic skills to better understand the causes and consequences of poor access to care in underserved

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