Sample Personal Statement: OB/GYN

The road to obstetrics-gynecology began with my fascination with women's health and has developed through intellectual stimulation, clinical satisfaction, and personal exploration. Prior to medical school, I volunteered and worked in women's health. These experiences led me to medical school, and throughout the classroom years I developed a keen sense that I wanted to further my passion through a career in obstetrics-gynecology. Finally, during clinical rotations I discovered my aptitude for surgery, obstetrics, and preventive medicine.

When I graduated with an undergraduate degree in Molecular and Cell Biology, I found myself with a highly technical degree that prepared me for basic science laboratory work. However, after one summer in an electrophysiology lab, I yearned for human interaction. As a result I took a position with Planned Parenthood to expand clinical and educational services to a clinically underserved area in North Lake Tahoe. Through this experience I created a novel high school family planning curriculum, developed a pregnancy prevention group that focused on the role of young men, and pioneered a mobile women's clinic to deliver health care to underserved women. I thoroughly enjoyed educating women and providing clinical services, but was frustrated by the limitations of my education. The limitations sparked my desire to enter medical school.

During the basic science courses I was naturally drawn towards the pathophysiology of the female reproductive tract. Wishing to apply this knowledge clinically, I became an active member of our school's outreach clinic for women. Once a month, under physician supervision, my colleagues and I provided Pap smears, STI testing, and exams to medically underserved women in the local community. I felt at ease discussing female health and illness with women, and it delighted me to provide services to women who may not otherwise receive medical care. Furthermore, in light of the high rate of cervical cancer in Nevada in comparison to other states I realized the importance of the clinical care we provided. After a few months of offering services, the number of Pap smears escalated and we were informed that the clinic may have to be canceled if we were not able to obtain funding. Based on Nevada's higher than average rate of cervical cancer, my colleague and I wrote and were subsequently rewarded a grant from AOA to secure funding for Pap smears. Obstetrics-gynecology allows me to continue to advocate for women's health and in particular, the underserved.

The summer after my first year of medical school I worked with my obstetrics-gynecology mentor. It was this clerkship that solidified my career choice of obstetrics-gynecology. This experience was my first glimpse into the daily life of a physician in this particular specialty. For one month, I worked along his side and scrubbed into surgeries, awoke in the middle of the night for deliveries, and saw patients in his office. I was constantly stimulated by the diversity of his patients and the variety of venues in which he worked. The opportunity to treat patients throughout their lifespan from adolescence to geriatrics and from puberty to childbirth and through menopause is particularly appealing. His dedication and pure love for women's health was infectious and something I hope to apply to my own practice.

Throughout my clinical rotations my interest in women's health was consistently confirmed. During surgery, I discovered my propensity for skilled procedures and ability for preciseness, but missed the follow-up and personal interactions with my patients. Internal and family medicine interested me intellectually, but I missed the hands-on procedures. During my third year, the obstetrics-gynecology rotation enabled me to combine the technical skills of surgery with the continuity of primary care. It also provided a venue to build trusting, long-term relationships with patients. My long-term dedication to women's health and thoughtful exploration of this career makes me an excellent candidate for residency in obstetrics-gynecology. My energy, leadership, and teamwork capabilities are all assets that I will share as a resident in your program. Thank you for your consideration.