A two page statement of purpose explaining how the program will facilitate the achievement of an applicant’s professional goals is required. Why are you a good fit for the program, and your educational goals and expectations from the program, especially how the completion of the certificate will contribute to your professional or personal development? The statement of purpose should be no more than two typed pages.
The impoverished street was filled with potholes and a sense of desperation. As I walked through the avenues of Agege, malnourished children sat on muddy sidewalks, their feet dangled in the gutter. I stopped when I heard a voice say, “Excuse me, auntie, can you help me lift this bucket?” When I looked down I saw a scrawny little girl filling two buckets with water, and I was astonished to see her completing such a demanding task.
Ojo, a ten-year-old girl, who had never been to school, assisted her blind aunt with practically everything. I later learned that Ojo suffered from angina and had been HIV- positive since birth. Ojo lived in an overcrowded area of Agege in Lagos, Nigeria. Due to poverty and financial instability, Ojo had never received antiretroviral drugs nor seen adequate doctors. Being around Ojo and assisting her family to find health services inspired me to heal and treat. A random interaction with that cute little girl and her family bolstered my commitment to the field of medicine.
To jumpstart my career in healthcare, I worked at Women Anonymous Testing Site in Philadelphia where I worked with at-risk young adults. I gained experience organizing health education workshops as well as conducting HIV testing with nurses and doctors to decrease the rates of HIV among adolescents in Philadelphia. I implemented an HIV prevention and awareness curriculum about which I was passionate. My experiences sparked my interest to pursue a Master’s in Public Health.
As I sat in chemistry class, the text I received caused my heart to drop. “Baba Johnson has passed away.” This sentence repeated in my head throughout the day. I faced various challenges during my undergraduate career, but none as devastating as the loss of my grandfather. Nonetheless, due to this tragedy, I gained a greater appreciation for my education. Believing I would be unable to achieve my full potential, I took time off from classes. Upon my return, I had a lot to catch up with. Rather than withdraw from classes, I persevered, which resulted only in lower grades.
This greatly affected my GPA, but I did not want to give up. This experience made me realize my drive to constantly aim higher and be the best student I can be under any circumstances. After receiving low grades in my core science courses, I became even more determined to excel. Even so, I knew I lacked the foundation needed to move on to the next science class. I decided, instead, to take the courses when I was more mentally prepared, which has led me to the Postbaccalaureate Premedicine program at Northwestern University.
Physicians can transform a society as well as help it flourish. Medicine is needed by many but provided to only a lucky few. My aspiration is to become a surgeon that would ensure no one is deprived of quality healthcare. The Premedicine program at Northwestern University would allow me to pursue my passion and develop the fundamentals needed to be successful in medical school. The program’s curriculum provides an intensive outlook into the sciences, which would equip me to excel in my future goals of becoming a cardiac-surgeon.
I worked alongside Dr. Sanders, and we researched the effects of Abacavir, an antiretroviral drug used to reduce the risk of developing a heart attack in HIV-positive adults in Lira, Uganda. Research on how different chemical substances affect the cardiovascular system in the body stimulated my love for cardiology. I gained a fascination for how the heart functions throughout the body. I appreciated the complexity of research studies, however, I realized research’s analytical approach would not allow me to display a hands-on interaction with patients.
The courses offered at Northwestern University Premedicine Program would enhance my research background. The Immunobiology and the Biology of Aging courses would provide me with the essential knowledge in working with the elderly as well as the HIV/AIDS population, which is one of my goals as a public health practitioner. My interactions with faculties as well as my colleagues would be beneficial to my professional and personal goals because, I would develop and foster long lasting relationships as well as partnerships. The supportive community and resources will give me motivation to want to achieve my goals.
There are vast amount of hospitals in the Chicago area, where I can also acquire meaningful hands-on experience in medicine. Completing this program would give me the opportunity to be a successful medical school candidate as well as the first step in going back Africa to help children like Ojo. I would bring a variety of research and public health experience to the program, which would be fundamental in being a versatile surgeon. The rigorousness of the program would make me a competitive candidate for medical school. Working with different physicians, I realized that the drive to become a doctor is a passion that comes from within an infinite desire to constantly keep learning. I hope to be a cardiac surgeon who would always stop and listen to the needs of my patients.
My experience in public health will prove critical to becoming a versatile surgeon. Perhaps the most important thing I learned is that quality healthcare requires being sympathetic and having a willingness to understand the root of the problem. As a cardiac surgeon, I want to be able to not only heal and diagnose, but also to inspire the communities I serve. I want to approach cardiovascular diseases and disorders from a holistic view of medicine that incorporates prevention and diagnosis as well as treatment. Yes, medicine is challenging, but it is a challenge I am willing to accept and embrace.