An Introduction to the Essay on the Topic of Personal Career Aspirations

My life changed forever at a tender age of 11. I remember spending countless afternoons, evenings, and nights pacing the halls of the North Shore University Hospital in New York, periodically checking in on my mom. As I paced the halls, I would pray for my mom to pull through. However, this was not meant to be. On the morning of Aug 1, 1994, I awoke to my father picking me up in his arms, with tears streaming down his face, and cries of sadness coming from his heart. Early that morning, my mother died from a four-year battle with breast cancer. A family’s dream was shattered and I became somewhat different from other kids in my class. In a short time I started to think like a grown up. Now, at an early age, career goals became extremely important to me.

I vividly remember the day after the cremation of my mother. I was sitting alone in the basement, staring at my empty reflection in the TV. Countless memories of her passed before my eyes in just seconds. But most of all I thought about all the days my mother would talk about her vision of my future as a doctor, helping people like her and others who needed care. Since that day, my ambition for becoming a doctor, which was a natural choice since both of my parents spent their entire careers in the medical field, was strengthened by the goal to carry out my mother’s dreams for me.

During the last two years of high school, I looked for research opportunities in the field of biomedical science to bolster my pursuit of a future in the medical profession. In the summer of 1999, I accepted a volunteer research position at the Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York, one of the premiere hospitals in the world. I worked in the department of Nuclear Medicine/ Radiation Safety on a project to determine the effective rate of systemic elimination of

radioisotopes in patients undergoing treatment for thyroid carcinoma. Although I had no direct contact with the patients, I tried to put a face on each patient’s chart during handling. I would become very excited when I was working with a thin chart, an indication that the patient had very few tests done. On the other hand, thick charts, which signify a battery of test procedures and a long history of illness, generally depressed me. Overall, this was an extraordinary experience in the sense that I got a chance to see firsthand how a major department in a hospital functions.

Last summer, I fulfilled a personal goal of completing a substantial research project in the area of biomedical science and submitting it to a major national science competition. I was accepted as a “High School Summer Research Trainee” at the University of Connecticut Health Center at Farmington. I spent the entire summer of 2000 working on a research project in the field of molecular cardiology. My project involved studying the adaptation of the heart as an alternative to medication for preventing a certain type of heart disease. The findings of this research were submitted to the Intel Science Talent Search/Competition. This experience wet my appetite for the field of medicine and made my drive for becoming a doctor and helping people even stronger.

Although the untimely passing of my mother was an enormous tragedy, I was able to take out of it the motivation to carry out her dreams, in conjunction with mine, and bring my drive and ambition for becoming a doctor to new heights. I did not become, per say, a new person, but became an inspired, focused, and more driven individual.

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