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Growing up in a small village in the southern part of India, has given me a firsthand perspective of being a part of a community with significant health care needs but limited services. I’ll always remember the deep concern I felt for my grandmother as a 7-year-old boy walking anxiously into the ICU after she suffered a heart attack. I could do nothing but watch from her bedside in suspense as nurses came and went. From that moment, I began wondering what I could do to make her feel better. Unfortunately, my grandmother passed after two days, despite the efforts of the doctors. Over the course of time I lost more relatives to relatively common ailments that could have been better managed had proper care been available. My grandfather was lost to diabetes, a cousin to tuberculosis, a dear friend to leukemia and my aunt to the complications of pregnancy. These significant events in my life have given me the inspiration to become a doctor.


In medical school, the preclinical years have introduced me to the intriguing complexities of the human body and its functions. It also provided me with a baseline understanding of what could be considered normal and how to recognize abnormalities, or the disease process. During my clinical years, my analytical skills sharpened allowing me the ability to diagnosis conditions skillfully. It’s during these years where I learned that the goal of doctors is a holistic one, meaning that the focus should not only be the elimination of disease, but to also achieve a state of complete physical, mental and social wellbeing for the patient. I graduated from medical school with a philosophy in life, to provide health care services to the poor and underprivileged sections of the society. However, I wanted to pursue my MD degree in internal medicine before I could practice.


My wife and I decided to move to US for further studies, as her parents live there. While  we were making plans,a call from home informing that my dad had a stroke,changed everything. I rushed home to be with him. The massive incident in his brain left him with no use of his right side and complete loss of communication. I was confident that I would be able to take care of him, however, the reality of the situation made me realize exactly how unprepared I truly was. With certain financial restraints and limited healthcare facilities available, the confusion, sadness and the helplessness jarred me during this unsettling transition. My dad lost his job after six months of disability. With one brother in engineering college, a sister in medical school and another sister in business school, the financial stresses were overwhelming for my family. Being the only earning member of the family, I was placed at a crossroads of an incredibly tough decision, to pursue my career goals or to take care of the family responsibilities. Ultimately, I put my career plans on hold and took up my responsibilities of a son and a brother. My wife, along with our 4 month old son, moved to US while I stayed back and started working in a hospital as resident doctor.


Life was hard and difficult with wife and son in a different country and as a caregiver to my dad, I went through the guilt and conflicting emotions of wanting his suffering to be over and being exhausted from taking care of him for years. Yet the idea that he would not be around much longer was hard to accept. It took me 4 years to get my siblings established and before I could visit US to see my son. I planned to pursue my medical education in US but my dad’s uncertain health condition prevented me from committing to three years of medical residency. Two years ago, I finally said goodbye to my dear dad. The stroke that eventually took his life, tortured 14 long years. Though this chapter of my life has closed, I feel fortunate to have been able to take care of him, give him quality of life and see him breathe his last breath at peace.


Booker T. Washington once said, “I have learned not to measure a man by his success in life, but by the obstacles he has overcome while trying to succeed.”  I am ECFMG certified; but it’s been 20 years since I graduated from medical school, designating me as a very old medical graduate and disqualifying me for most of the residency programs. Even though I couldn’t achieve personal educational and professional goals these past years, I was very successful in making one sister a pediatrician, another business administrator, my brother an engineer and my wife a physician assistant. There is no greater privilege than to live a life of service to others.


As someone who has always been very goal-oriented, I am looking forward to the PA program. My life to date has prepared me to deal with many obstacles and strengthened my determination and compassion. My unique life experiences allow me to connect with the people I hope to serve and to help them find their courage in the face of an uncertain prognosis.  I am eager to join your prestigious institution may, because it is a key milestone to achieving my dream of being in medical profession here in US.

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