“Too Often We Underestimate The Power Of A Touch, A Smile, A Kind Word, A Listening Ear, Personal Statement Examples
Type of paper: Personal Statement
Topic: Compassion, Empathy, Nursing, Medicine, Life, Politics, Doctor, Internal Medicine
an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to
turn a life around.” ― Leo Buscaglia
Empathy is different from compassion and sympathy. Empathy is not a feeling one experiences when someone needs help and it motivates us. Empathy is not the care and understanding felt when someone is in need. The ability to empathize permits a person to connect with the feelings of the one in distress, the capacity to respond to another’s emotional distress. Empathy is at the core of an internal medicine physician, the type of doctor I want to become.
As I was growing up, I was intrigued with science. I knew I wanted it to be the center of my career, but I didn’t know what direction I should take. For a time, I worked in the Intensive Care Unit of a hospital as a patient care and EKG technician. It was here that I discovered the meaning of empathy with a patient who changed the course of my life.
Margaret had struggled with multiple sclerosis for years and since she had been born blind, she was dependent on others for most of her activities of daily living. Her needing to get out of bed to a chair, dressing, and visits to the bathroom all required assistance. It was not only my job to help her, but it was a pleasure. My last encounter with Margaret still resonates with me. She said, “You have helped me this whole time, holding my hand, and offering me encouragement. You helped me eat and kept me clean. I never felt you were frustrated or impatient or repulsed by anything I needed. When I was confused, you taught me. When I was uncomfortable, you found me relief. You have been there for me and I have something for you.” She reached into her bag, felt for a medallion and handed it to. I read, “Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see”. It was at that point that I recognized it was empathy that moved me toward becoming a physician, to impact the lives of patients like Margaret. I wanted to feel their needs and help them in every way possible to achieve the highest quality of life. Long after Margaret was discharged, I think of the important lesson she taught me.
I have graduated from college and my next goal is to obtain a position in an Internal Medicine residency. From my parents I learned how to set my sights on an ambition and take the steps to attain it. My instructors stressed the importance of seeing my patients as human beings and not just as a disease process. And from Margaret, I recognized my strong sense of empathy. As an internal medicine resident, I will bring my fortitude and persistence along with my appreciation of my patients as people. After graduation, I hope to establish a joint practice with mentors who can guide my experience and continue training to become the best physician possible.