Perseverance in School Essay

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During Summer 2021 I attended a Medicine Masterclass by Corpus Christi Cambridge which focused on the naked mole rat and the lack of the pain sensors that allow them to maintain critical energy, potentially explaining their long lifespans. The naked mole rat lacks pain sensitivity in its skin, and we learned that this is caused by a small difference in a selection of amino acids in a receptor of the nervous system. This course was inspiring as it became clear that naked mole rats could lead the way to innovative strategies that can be developed to treat pain in humans in the future.

I completed a weeklong placement in a GP surgery, and I found this experience to be extremely beneficial as I had the opportunity to shadow different GPs, nurses, pharmacists, and other professionals who all play a role in patient health. I was amazed to learn about the great number of aspects that all go into providing single-person care. During consultations, I observed blood samples and pressures being taken and was fascinated by the professionalism and gentleness of the nurses. Witnessing a great range of cases, from a 6-week baby check-up to Rheumatoid Arthritis and suspected DVT, informed me about daily life as a doctor. I was particularly enthralled by a patient with a history of depression also suffering from Asperger's Syndrome and how the doctor sympathized with the patient. Through this experience, it was also highlighted to me the importance of trust in the doctor-patient relationship. The doctor's unfaltering motivation presented to me the sheer privilege of having such a stimulating vocation. This opportunity reaffirmed my desire to study medicine.

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In 2021, I attended monthly webinars by Allied Healthcare Mentor which follow different healthcare professionals who are involved in patient care whilst having the opportunity to follow numerous patient journeys through primary, secondary, and tertiary care. By observing, I have learned how they interact with the patients and with one another in stressful environments. I got to see how they worked together to solve issues and the way the professionals brought a friendly, relaxing atmosphere to the workspace. I also gained a deeper knowledge of the multidisciplinary teams in a variety of settings from hospitals to the community and of the importance of teamwork in healthcare.

My desire to help others led me to volunteer weekly at the East Renfrewshire Larder, a foodbank that provides immediate access to essential items for anyone in need. My role is to help out by organizing and packing parcels alongside other volunteers. We work as a team to provide the services as quickly and efficiently as we can. My passion for helping other people encouraged me to volunteer as a listener for the 7Cups helpline during the pandemic. This role requires compassion, patience, and the ability to support people going through a difficult time. My role as a listening volunteer has also allowed me to gain the ability to navigate challenging conversations and has taught me how to talk to a variety of individuals from different backgrounds. Engaging with people from various age groups and backgrounds displays my patience, empathy, and communication skills and the experience has shown the importance of caring for the emotional as well as the physical needs.

Being multilingual and participation in the Anti-Racism Committee, I have been exposed to a range of cultures and learned to truly respect personal, religious, and cultural beliefs, which is particularly useful for healthcare professionals due to the importance of effective communication. Understanding the importance of lifelong learning and my desire to challenge myself motivated me to enroll in the British Sign Language course, to learn to communicate using my gestures, facial expressions, and body language. I was stunned to learn that BSL is used by around 151,000 people within the UK alone.

For 11 years I have attended a theatre school, through which I have performed in numerous internal shows as well as having the privilege to perform in smaller roles as part of many professional theatre productions with the Scottish Opera. This opportunity has allowed me to build on my confidence as well as improve my interpersonal and communication skills. After being selected, I have had the great opportunity to sing as part of the Royal National Scottish Orchestra's Junior Chorus for 11 years, whilst also completing my Gold Award which requires commitment, consistency, and practice. In addition to this, I am also a member of the school choir, sinfonia, and the school senior drama shows. Through my participation in these, the key message - that every person has a role to play - has become evident to me. This correlates to the multidisciplinary roles in the healthcare system as professionals must work together, as a collective, to achieve the best outcome.

To further fuel my interest in research and wider reading, I have decided to take part in my school's Independent Research Project, which will allow me to hone my skills in academic writing to a greater extent. I have chosen to investigate the twin epidemics of heart disease and diabetes in people from the Indian subcontinent. During my research up till date, I was shocked to discover, that South Asians contribute to 60% of the figures for heart disease. Being Indian myself, I found this important issue to be not only relevant but also personal.

Playing Hockey for 10 years at both club and school has allowed me to develop my understanding of teamwork, maintaining morale, perseverance as well as leadership. As a volunteer at an afterschool childcare center, I was responsible for organizing different activities to keep the children engaged, through this I have honed my leadership skills and gained valuable interpersonal skills by interacting with children and parents. Achieving my Silver Duke of Edinburgh Award during challenging conditions required teamwork and also the ability to maintain morale in tough situations, as well as rational thinking through the expedition to ascertain a shared goal. This year I have chosen to take on a challenge by embarking on the Gold Award.

Through my part-time job as a waitress, I have improved my customer service skills as well as learned how to work under pressure in a fast-paced environment whilst completing tasks to the best of my ability. To take on further responsibility in my school, I have been selected as a Prefect as part of which I will have to partake in a variety of roles all of which will allow me to build upon crucial skills such as leadership, teamwork, and time management. Taking part in the Scottish Mathematical Challenge and the Biology Olympiad has allowed me to improve my problem-solving skills which are invaluable to medicine. Playing Bridge for 5 years and winning the Scottish Schools Award has developed my logical and lateral thinking. Whilst also enabling me to improve upon my responsiveness to unpredictable circumstances as it tests not only the mind but also strategy and tactics. With dedication and perseverance, I have achieved my Grade 6 in violin, through which I have also gained a strong manual dexterity by playing from a young age.

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