Write an essay where you tell us about what drives you in your pursuit of your graduate degree.

I became familiar with medicine in a profoundly personal way when my grandmother had a mini stroke due to uncontrolled hypertension. A year prior to her Transient Ischemic Attack, I had accompanied my grandmother to her doctor’s appointment where she was diagnosed with hypertension. I translated the doctor’s instructions for her and explained that she was to monitor her blood pressure and to take daily medications at home. However, she was noncompliant with the treatment plan because she could not afford her medications and did not have the resources to check her blood pressure regularly. After witnessing the complications associated with high blood pressure, I strove to understand my grandmother’s disease by browsing online to learn about the prevention and management of hypertension and other chronic ailments. From the medical literature, I learned of the poor health outcomes due to health disparities among those of a low socioeconomic status. This knowledge, corroborated by my grandmother sacrificing her health due to poor finances, catalyzed a strong interest in medicine that has continued to grow since.
As an undergraduate, I developed a fascination with biology and went on to obtain my degree in Human Biology. To further develop my understanding of human health and disease, I completed an EMT course where I immersed myself in the field of medicine and later became a scribe in the Emergency Department. The ED allowed me to witness the care of critical patients and patients with non-acute complaints brought in due to a lack of primary care or inaccessibility of speciality services. The recognition of our limited resources strengthened my desire to become a physician in order to improve access to health care in underserved communities.
I am devoted to attaining a medical education that prepares me to care for underserved communities. In time, it will be my privilege to care for medically underserved populations and aid in the elimination of health disparities.

Yanel from California
University of California, San Francisco