I have never envisioned myself becoming a doctor. I was always fascinated by numbers as a child, and I initially aspired to be a mathematician. But in life, every life-changing decision is accompanied by a life-changing event. My plan suddenly changed when, as a teenager, I saw my friend who died while we were playing. Watching a human life violently but silently slip away showed me how helpless and fragile we are, and I thought to myself, I want to understand the fragility of the human body. I decided to embark on a career path that would help me save lives. This was the event that pushed me into medicine.
On a cold winter morning in 1990, a loud cry was heard in the maternity hospital, Bahri, Khartoum in Sudan. There I had to fight through my first challenge in life that is survival. My father, mother, and six siblings makeup my family. Being brought up by my sincere, loving, and caring parents gave me a fertile environment that molded my personality. Respect, helpfulness, and cooperation were our mottos. Hard work was my currency in being an outstanding student throughout my school years, getting a position in the most prestigious medical school in my beloved country-the Red sea University and finally succeeding in the USMLE exams.
At the age of five, my curiosity made me admire pilots, where I would be able to discover new places and meet different cultures. In my late primary school and secondary school years, my interests changed as I became more mature and introduced to new subjects. My passion for biology, love of problem-solving in mathematics, and curiosity for knowing the makeup of compounds in chemistry directed me to medicine, which has the most valuable moral in the universe- serving mankind.
Hippocrates once wrote, ‘Through the love of medicine is a love for humanity.’ Our first medical school year curriculum does not include clinical rounds, so I took the chance during our first summer break to further appreciate my passion for medicine by shadowing and nursing ill patients in Omdurman teaching hospital.
During our clerkship years, the art of history taking, which involves active listening to the patient, understanding their problem, and figuring out the possible diagnosis, has attracted my attention. Being an essential part of internal medicine left me with no chance but to choose it without hesitation. Life-long learning, teamwork, minimally invasive procedures, and prioritizing patients’ health also significantly impacted. Diagnosing and treating patients to alleviate their sufferings has a tremendous effect on my feeling of well-being. I did most of my internship in the outskirts of the capital of Sudan, Khartoum.
During this time, we served the underprivileged population with limited resources. This was challenging since most patients came in late-stage diseases with low literacy levels and small incomes. In such situations, our seniors broadened our knowledge by teaching us how to recognize early complications of the disease and to use only the most relevant investigations in diagnosis. Furthermore, they taught us how to communicate and improve the awareness of such populations to their endemic diseases like malaria.
During the preparation for USMALE exams, I faced a lot of struggles that could terminate my dream. My father got a pension, and he underwent major surgery, so I had to study and work at the same time to support my family and myself. I started working in construction while looking to gain an ECFMG certificate. I was at a crossroads: either continue my medical training in Sudan or aim higher and seek a brighter future for myself and my family. Poverty, lack of financial and professional reward in Sudan led me to move to KSA, which ended up being far from stable. However, I have learned the importance of being vigilant and resourceful.
I’ve also learned how to work under pressure, racial and tribal tensions. Situations like these intertwined with my passion for saving lives and pushed me to manage resources in intelligent ways. I will never forget the saving of a pregnant lady with massive vaginal bleeding after birth. Inserting peripheral line and giving plenty of iv fluids, I saved the mother’s life, and it made me realize the power I had and helped me understand the immense good I could do with it. I worked in KSA for four months.
Soon after, I yearned for a place where I could practice modern medicine under the effect of international guidelines, protocols, and clinical trial results. I moved to Hamad medical corporation, an internal medicine residency program, working in a highly equipped tertiary hospital for four years.
My dream is to be a clinician who deals with individuals and influences the community as a whole by doing research, volunteering in health campaigns, and passing my knowledge to colleagues. My research experience has started in medical school and has continued throughout my postgraduate years, which made me recognize its relevance to our field. I also joined volunteer groups helping orphans during my undergraduate years, where I understood the meaning of help and cooperation. I am looking for a residency program to accomplish my dream and feel that I am a member of a family that will imprint our society.
Despite the unspeakable tragedies I have witnessed and the struggles that I have suffered, I am proud of what I have managed to accomplish throughout my life. I’m proud of the man I have become, a man driven by resilience, perseverance, and a heightened sense of responsibility. My life experiences have polished my sense of duty, my appreciation and respect for human life, and a firsthand understanding of people that go through unimaginable struggles in their lives.
The life I lived has trained me to be a committed individual, which is witnessed by my commitment to every job I’ve held. I have learned to be fearless while still being a team player. I have dealt with a wide range of patients and circumstances, and I understand the challenges that a physician must undergo daily. My versatility and experiences as a student and practitioner of medicine are valuable to any team. I have the ethics, knowledge, skills, attitude, and educational background you are looking for.
My patience, along with my interpersonal skills, makes me an ideal candidate. I can do justice to my profession as I know how to deal with patients. I am quick with judgments. I am detail-oriented, and as per the requirement of the job, I can be sympathetic and communicate well with patients, their families, and my colleagues. I have no doubt that I will be an asset to your healthcare facility, and I hope to prove that if given the opportunity. Thank you for your time and consideration.