It was during orthopedic surgical residency training that I came to deeply respect radiation oncology's pivotal role in medicine. As a resident, I cared for numerous patients with bone pain or impending pathologic fractures from primary bone tumors, metastatic disease, and multiple myeloma. I saw that the best outcomes for functional ability, pain control, and overall prognosis were in those patients that received radiotherapy when indicated. Also, I was frequently exposed to the devastating consequences of heterotopic ossification, usually from intraarticular fractures that severely limited patient recovery.
Anecdotally, I noticed that the patients who received radiotherapy for the prevention of HO had a significantly improved overall recovery and quality of life. As I progressed in residency I continued to witness radiation oncology's vitally important role in numerous different orthopedic surgical sub-specialties, such as orthopedic oncology, orthopedic trauma, and pediatric orthopedics. I recall often venturing to the pathology lab with enthusiasm to meet with pathologists and oncologists to discuss various slides of that day's orthopedic tumor. I can also vividly recall my enthusiasm during orthopedic oncology rounds where we were able to discuss the medical treatment of sarcomas, many of which required radiotherapy to improve overall function, survival, and quality of life.
[...] Personal statement for residency application The path that I have traveled in my medical career is not the typical one followed, but it certainly possesses its own unique attributes. In this short space I will describe my prior experiences as a clinician, how I have changed, and what I hope to accomplish and contribute in the years ahead as a radiation oncologist. My first exposure to radiation oncology was in medical school during my twelve-week internal medicine rotation. It was during this rotation that I was exposed to numerous patients suffering from debilitating pain from metastatic disease. [...]
[...] I realize that I am not the typical candidate applying to your residency program. While I have faced many difficult personal challenges over the past few years, I intend to use these experiences to make me a more compassionate and empathetic physician. I hope to have the privilege to discuss my past experiences and future aspirations in greater depth during an interview at your institution. I am grateful for this opportunity to again practice clinical medicine, and am eager to do so in the field of radiation oncology. [...]
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