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- Price: Free download
- Published: 3rd December 2021
- Price: Free download
- File format: Text
The athlete in me was born at the age of four, when I got my first basketball hoop. The excitement of assembling the hoop with my father and laying the concrete to anchor it was the most fun I had ever had. I still vividly remember that first day, being out in the driveway and shooting baskets in my ‘Patrick Ewing’ jersey till the sun set. My mother had to actually drag me back into the house for dinner. At my neighborhood park, I was always known as ‘The Professor’; I like to think that I earned the nickname for my brilliant plays and mastery of the game, but in reality it was because when someone got hurt, everyone turned to me. ‘Kunal, what do we do for this bloody nose?’ My friend tilted his head back to stop the bleeding, but I had read up on nosebleeds after the first time I saw one, so I told him to lean forward, keep his head up, and pinch his nose. I would also do basic muscle energy treatments (which I learned from a family friend, an osteopathic physician) for a pulled muscle or a jammed finger that kept someone off the court. I discovered that I enjoyed working with athletes and helping them get back onto the field. Growing up around athletics contributed much to my personality today. I learned to thrive while working within a team, and to appreciate a collective greater good alongside individual goals. Serving as captain of different sports teams from high school to medical school, and winning championships honed my sense of leadership. It shaped me into a proud and determined leader who knows the importance of humility and respect for others. When I began medical school, with my zest for sports, I naturally developed an interest in the musculoskeletal system and neurology. This academic interest is what initially drew me to physiatry, but my experiences during third year rotations were far more compelling. The physiatrists I came across shared the same qualities that I possessed. I noticed this in their roles as leaders of the caregiving team, and in the manner in which they collaborated with other specialists. There were also opportunities to use my osteopathic background and undergraduate education in psychology. I was able to use osteopathic manipulative medicine, and felt familiar with the holistic and multidisciplinary approach to patient care. I was also equipped to empathize with patients and guide them through the stages of grief and other psychosocial aspects of disease and injury. With this insight into the fundamentals of patient care in physiatry, I was eager to further explore the field during my upcoming electives later this semester. The nature of the work in physiatry also brought me a sense of personal satisfaction and fulfilment. I understood impairment on a small scale from my own athletic injuries, and remembered the exhilaration of returning to play after recovery. However, some patients were disabled to the point where activities of daily living were compromised. Restoring functionality to these patients, and witnessing someone walking again after being bedridden was profoundly gratifying. The gradual process of recovery in these patients revealed the power of a strong physician-patient relationship, which I also felt I was able to establish, aided by my variety of hobbies and interests. In summary, I am an athlete and a soon to be physician, with an array of interests and an affable personality. Physiatry represents a union of my intellectual and extracurricular interests, while employing my educational background. I believe I would be an excellent fit for a residency program that encompasses a wide range of pathophysiology, with a dedicated, supportive faculty and a close-knit team of active, driven residents. Beyond residency training, I hope to be employed as a clinical physician, an educator, and an advocate for physiatry. Thank you for your time and consideration, and I hope you will find that I am a great fit for your program.
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