3 min read

My exposure to medicine began early, but my commitment to studying it has been a winding path. My father has been a dentist for 30 years and had his own private practice from the year I was born. Whenever my mother brought me to visit him at the office, I was curious. My dad would show me how the lab techs created molds of people’s teeth, or how to take x-rays. I soaked up this knowledge of dentistry since I loved learning about anything and everything. But I didn’t think I would follow in my father’s footsteps and become a dentist. For many years, I thought of being a veterinarian since I loved animals as much as I loved learning new things.

My thirst for knowledge encouraged me to seize new opportunities and new experiences. So when my dad invited me to go on a mission trip with him to Honduras, I seized the chance to explore a new country and learn more about what he did. Once in Honduras, I helped my dad with setting up the temporary clinic, and I worked as his assistant, taking patient histories and organizing his schedule every day. His goal was to treat as many underprivileged kids as possible in remote villages, providing needed dental care they wouldn’t normally get. His work was inspiring to me. As I watched him treat countless young patients, I remembered his lessons on the importance of dental health and saw what a difference his care made to these families. Without fail, the parents would shake my dad’s hand and thank him, even sending him thank you notes and gifts. I had always been proud of the work my dad did and seeing his patients’ appreciation was heartwarming. When their appreciation was extended to me for caring for their kids before and during the visit, it was a fulfilling and proud feeling.

When we returned home after the mission trip, that sense of pride hung around, and I reconsidered a career in dentistry. I reflected on my trip, and I realized what I had loved most about it was working with the kids, not necessarily the dental work. While dentistry still didn’t spark my passions, my interest in medicine had been ignited. I began searching for work, and I landed at a community health clinic as a medical scribe. Here is where my skills flourished, and the excitement of not knowing what would walk through the door every day was invigorating in the same way that dentistry now felt routine. I would see patients of all walks of life come through the community clinic, and the variety of medicine appealed to me. However, I still loved working with kids, and I wanted to see what it was like.

I began shadowing Dr. [Name], a pediatrician at [Hospital]. Working alongside her every day, it as amazing to see how she interacted with her young patients. She had the same caring approach as my dad, but her focus was on overall health, not just good dental health. And for the first time, it felt as if I was in the right place and the right position for me. It cemented my decision to pursue a career in medicine.

So, while my interest hopped from dentistry to a brief consideration of veterinary, then on to community health and pediatrics, my commitment to medicine has been slowly building. Although I wasn’t always sure medicine would be my endgame, it is now clear to me that my love of learning, of working with kids and my insatiable curiosity for new experiences is perfectly matched in medicine.

 Click to go back to medical school personal statement examples.