My personal statement

Taken from my UCAS application submitted October 2010

From an early age, I have been introduced to the world of medicine owing to my mother’s medical profession. This has exposed me throughout my upbringing to the different aspects of medical life, as both a science and a service to other people. With this in mind, I have always seen medicine as an important type of service, something I have pursued through my volunteer work, which builds on my commitment to the profession. Medicine, then, not only brings security to others, but also satisfaction to me.

Currently I am in my final year at the International English Gymnasium in Sodermalm in Stockholm, where my entire education is in English, preparing me for further studies at an English-speaking university. I follow the Natural Science program, which emphasizes the major scientific subjects such as Biology, Chemistry and Physics. In addition, I have studied French to the highest level possible at school. In preparation for my chosen career pathway, I have taken a number of optional courses such as Microbiology and Chemistry Extended, which follows the Cambridge AS and A2-level curriculum. This gives me the core scientific skills enabling me to have a firm foundation for studying medicine. During the summer, I did a lab internship at the Cell Biology department in Stockholm University, researching “The DNA-methylation pattern of the chromatin remodelling complex B-WICH on the promoter” for a period of four weeks. Doing research at a professional level showed me that patience and perseverance are crucial to receive desired outcomes.

Beyond my studies, I am active in my school community. I am currently the Helping Hands (a social-integration group for students) coordinator, a House Senior, and have been active in the Student Council since I came to the school. In the Student Council, I have been responsible for being the school photographer and for public relations. Owing to my different responsibilities within the school, I acquired leadership skills in the events I helped conduct. Some examples of such events are Arts Day, Open House and my school’s representation in the annual Gymnasium fair in Stockholm.

Outside of school, I am greatly involved in music. For the past two years I have sung in the largest Catholic youth choir in Sweden called the “St. Eugenia Youth Choir”. In addition, I have played the violin for six years and play in an orchestra in the Royal College of Music in Stockholm. I also taught myself to play the guitar. Beyond music, I am a member of various volunteer organisations including the community of St. Egidio (a community that helps the poor and the homeless), an initiative which I brought into my school, leading weekly trips to help feed the homeless in Stockholm. Furthermore, I have been a volunteer leader for the local youth ministry within an international organization called “Couples for Christ Foundation for Family and Life” for four years. Within this initiative, I have been in several teams with delegates from all over Europe, serving people of all ages in different countries. For example, I helped organize and conduct a three-day European congress for children in Marseille in August 2009. This experience taught me the ability to cooperate across language borders and also to adjust to all situations.

Having a doctor as a mother, I am fortunate to be able to experience some aspects of medical life which have greatly impacted me as a person. One such moment was when I was nine years old, when my family and I volunteered at a refugee centre in Athens, Greece. We helped in the kitchen during the day and my mother gave free medical consultations during the evenings. This experience triggered the passion of serving others within me as a child. I saw how medicine can be a great tool for helping others. Hence from an early age, I have always been committed to become a doctor.

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