Growing it up altogether was a difficult decision

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Last updated: August 17, 2019

Growing up in Nepal, I saw my father work as a Medical Assistant everyday, as his clinic was based in my neighborhood. I spent hours in his clinic, fascinated by him helping the people in my community. I believe, the faith people had in my father’s medical expertise helped me develop a higher level of respect for people in the health-care profession. I, invariably wanted to be like him since my younger years; this motivated me to familiarize myself with the medical field and eventually to work in the health-care field. As I grew up, I understood that there were different branches of medicine and that my father needed help from various medical professionals as he dealt with patient care.

The patients were sent for laboratory tests or to be seen by specialists; and I was always curious about the procedures that these patients underwent when they were referred. I can remember that my annual hospital visits as a kid were more fascinating, than scary, as these visitsDuring the 12th grade, I was to make a choice between Biology and Mathematics, this decision would eventually mean if I would pursue a career in health-care or otherwise. The choice was not was simple as I had guessed. I had always liked mathematics, I understood it well; and to give it up altogether was a difficult decision for me. Owing to the curiosity I had during my childhood, I chose to take up Biology and decided to be a doctor. I completed my pre-med and got accepted in a medical school in Weifang, China in 2005.

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As a medical student, I was exposed to the medical field in a new fashion; a clinical setting where the etiologies, epidemiology and prognoses of diseases were discussed. Ailments were looked at from biochemical and microbiological aspects, giving an insight into pathophysiology of numerous common condition. In the clinical years, I learned Chinese language in order to communicate better with the patients, which was an arduous task, yet resulted in a fruitful endeavour. After learning the basics of the language, patient communication including collecting patient history, making notes, attending clinical rounds became easier and faster.

This provided  me a great sense of satisfaction and created an amicable environment for the patients at the hospital. During the third and fourth years, I was a part of a Coronary Artery Disease (CAD) Research Program in the Department of Internal Medicine. The purpose of the study was to assess the risks and treatment options for patients with coronary artery diseases.

As a medical student, I collected data from the patients admitted in the hospital that belonged to high-risk group for CAD in the ongoing cohort study. Thus, five and a half years of medical school provided me a better insight of disease prevention and prognosis and other etiologies and risk factors that need to be addressed from a grass root level.After completing medical school in early 2012 , I went back to Nepal and started my 12-month compulsory internship program. The program comprised of  rotations in various medical departments and working under the supervision of board certified doctors. Conducting morning rounds, working in out-patient departments (OPD) and staying on-call during overnight shifts were the major aspects of the program. During this period, I was elected as the “Chief Intern” which came with the responsibilities of assigning cases and ward patients to the fellow interns, training new interns with medical procedures, assisting them in the OPD setting, and helping them assess treatment options. I also became a part of various community out-reach programs that delivered health-care to population that did not have access to basic medical care. The community outreach program consisted of setting up temporary clinics in the rural areas and performing disease screening, diagnosis and providing treatment options to patients.

These programs helped me understand that, in conjunction to drug therapy, educating the patients is a crucial part of medicine and how outreach programs can have a long term effect in population health. I emigrated to the US after graduating in 2012. During the early years, I had to support myself and my parents financially, for which I was working full time in non-medical organizations. During the fall of 2014, I volunteered at North Texas Indian Physicians’ Charitable Foundation assisting the physicians in a clinical setting in General Medicine department. This charitable organization provided free medical care for patients without health insurance in Dallas community. In addition to assisting the doctors, my responsibilities included  patient history taking, patient vital measurements and record keeping. This physician shadowing experience helped me better understand the patient care management in the US.

Eventually, I got the opportunity to work in a neuro-ophthalmolgy center in the research division in Dallas in June 2015. I assisted in data collection for ETDRS (Early Treatment Diabetic Retinopathy Study) research study. The purpose of this study is to assess preventive and early treatment options in diabetic patients in order to prevent and/or delay the progress of retinopathy. This ongoing prospective study caught my attention as the data were being sent to epidemiologists and bio-statisticians to better understand the results. Over the course of time, I was also trained as a neuro-ophthalmologic technician, where I performed various neuro-opthalmological tests in the clinic.

With this experience, I started to develop interest in the field of public health to better understand the results of the data that was being collected for the research study. In addition, I represent the physician, working as the physician liaison; strengthening physician-patient relationship and keeping an open line of communication. I assist in educating patients, providing them with answers related to their conditions, treatment plans and prognoses as directed by the physician. This method of maintaining a two-way conversation provides the patients with the information they seek and has helped me develop communication skills in relation to patient education.                                                                           It was then I decided to continue my education in public health. After corresponding with various universities, I decided to start a Graduate Certificate program in public health in University of North Texas Health Science Center (UNTHSC) in August 2015. This program is a conglomeration of the five core branches that comprise of public health, which would help me decide the my concentration and showed the inter-relation between the various branches of public health. This program also helped me understand how behavioral sciences and preventive medicine can alter the incidences of diseases.

Similarly, the relationship of environmental science and human health became clearer during my time in UNTHSC. Since the beginning of the program, I was drawn to Epidemiology course as it comprised of preventive medicine and statistics.My interest in epidemiology fetched me good grades in the subject. While social and preventive medicine was already introduced to me in medical school, I was intrigued to learn newer concepts pertaining to epidemiology.  My interest in Epidemiology shaped up after I took the introductory class and helped me understand research methodology better. Understanding the research articles to distinguish the study designs and their biases were parts of numerous article critiques assigned during the lectures. Keeping in line with my interest in Epidemiology and my skills as an international physician, pursuing Master’s in Public Health with a concentration in Epidemiology would be a the perfect platform for providing  preventive medical care  and promoting health among the population.

A graduate degree from a prestigious institution like Texas A with it’s interdisciplinary approach in providing health solutions in diverse communities, along with renowned professors, ongoing research, rich infrastructure and laboratory facilities would be the right place for me to grow as a new age health care professional. Apart from my professional and academic achievements, I bring strong personal traits to your program. As a hardworking individual with a remarkable commitment to bettering myself in my career, my desire towards social service and empathy towards people sets me apart from the most. My experiences in Nepal, China as well as in the US will prove valuable to my ability to provide a unique viewpoint in the classroom.

My experiences, in conjunction to my graduate certificate program, has allowed me to learn much about the healthcare industry in the US. I look forward to continuing to improve myself and becoming a true asset to your university.

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