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Med School Admission, Iranian immigrant

I was raised in Tehran, but moved to Canada in 1998, when I was 10 years old. Doctors have been my heroes since my childhood. An avid daydreamer as a child, I would often spend hours each day conjuring up fantasy visions of myself as an important doctor, working alongside my colleagues and arriving at a diagnosis as a team. Finding cures for diseases also ranked very high among my early fantasies. My fixation with physical health also led to actively taking up body building by the time that I was 18 and I even started training other individuals that were interested, sharing with them the scientific aspects of bodybuilding. I would carefully study the science behind every exercise and would always be very careful to produce complimentary diet plans. Since I am graduating this October with an Honorary BSc Degree in Biology from York University, I now have great confidence that I am well prepared to enter medical school and that I have the right level of determination, high motivation, focus, and drive to excel in your program.

 I was always very curious about the diseases that struck our family over the years and I did my best to learn everything that I could about them, the cancer survived by my uncle, the physical disability suffered for so long by my mother, and the near death of my father--all of this keenly reinforced my interest and exposure to medicine while still a child and especially a teenager. My mother, nearly bedfast, tells me that she would rather be able to run for 10 minutes than to inherit 10 million dollars. These events have left me serious beyond my years, especially dedicated to my studies, and most keenly interested in becoming a physician. The emotional and financial difficulties that my family faced during the first few years of our immigration were very difficult. I matured very quickly so that I could work, beginning at 14. The first job I had was wearing a cardboard box shaped like a house to attract the attention of oncoming traffic to the new residences being built in that area. I would wear 4-5 layers of clothing during the winter season to withstand the cold weather. I hated and constantly fought the stigma of being on welfare. When my bike was stolen by a big bully, I decided to take Taekwondo classes in addition to Karate and ended up winning 2 gold medals at the 2003 Canadian Junior Taekwondo Championship at the age of 16. A year later, I also won gold in both the sparring competition and the pattern performance at the 2004 Ontario Gran Prix Taekwondo Championship held at Humber College. Due to numerous knee injuries, however, by 2005, I was no longer able to compete in sparring competitions; I served as a judge for some time thereafter. I feel that my experience as a martial artist will serve me well as a physician, constantly having learned from the strengths and limits of my own capacities.

 The greatest contribution that I might be able to make to society would be to help the most vulnerable to protect their health throughout their lifetime, to cure them of the ailments that they have, and to help them to make wise choices that make medical intervention unnecessary later on. I see the medical degree as a giant leap forward to a life of service. I especially look forward to being able to devote my time and my talents to the care of the medically underserved. I want to be remembered not just as a great doctor, but also as a great citizen.

 I passed through a number of critical life-changing events that helped to solidify what I see as my destiny to become an excellent physician. Only one year into our immigration from Canada to Iran, my dad had a heart attack while he was on his way to deliver a pizza to a customer. I was 11 and had only been studying English for one year, but I immediately began checking out science textbooks trying to decipher what had gone wrong with his heart. Soon, I began to understand much of what I was reading.

My passion for the mysteries of the heart has also long been enforced by my mother´s heart disease, thought to be a rare form of Muscular Dystrophy. Watching my mother suffer over the years slowing losing her ability to move, and only in ever greater agony, has been a bulwark for my studies. I have spent countless hours studying over her biopsies and genetic test results in a never ending search for clues to better understand her rare disease. I have to know that I at least tried. I have spent so much time diligently studying at hospitals, that since I have gotten older, I have been occasionally mistaken for a medical professional by patients seeking to find out some sort of basic information. While of course, I declared that I was only a student, the feeling of trust, and the warmth of the handshake from these patients stayed with me.

 I feel strongly that the greatest asset that I have to offer to medical school is my keen, highly refined sense of social responsibility. I do not look at medicine as a way to make a good living; I am much more attracted to the challenge and the fulfillment that comes from service. I spend a lot of free time on the Internet reading about the selfless activities of physicians who donate their time with the group Doctors Without Borders. They are my modern day heroes to the fullest extent possible and it is their heroic sacrifice, nobility, and determination to protect the suffering that I most fervently seek to emulate. I hope to one day join their cause.

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