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Youth Forum - A Dream Comes True

Paul Cherian

I have always dreamt of being a doctor. Both my parents are doctors and my older brother is in medical school.

I have been exposed to medicine all my life and it has truly fascinated me more than anything else in the entire world. What profession is more interesting, challenging, and has the potential to help as many people as medicine? I asked myself one night. For weeks I considered different answers to this question and could find no answer. I finally reasoned that medicine was the profession for me. Though sleep deprived, I was pleased that I now knew what I wanted to do later in life.

I studied hard through my school life and was given the opportunity to go to boarding school at Deerfield Academy. The school work was challenging and initially life was difficult. I soon found great friends and we all helped each other through the hard times and enjoyed the good times to the fullest of our ability. Throughout high school,I continued to dream and talk of becoming a doctor. The summer before my senior year I was given many opportunities that would eventually help me in my application to medical school. My parents were able to arrange a clinical attachment for me, where by I was able to go and see doctors at work. I saw amazing things and this experience solidified my belief that medicine was going to be the career for me. I also went to Dublin where my brother was in medical school at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland. I loved the city, and something about the college really connected with me. I decided that RCSI would be my first choice.

During the fall of my senior year I did community service in the afternoons. Senior fall was difficult with hours of work, community service and the numerous college applications I had to work on. I kept it all together, balancing things carefully. After fall term ended I went back home for the Christmas break, where I spent only a little time celebrating. I spent part of this time with my applications writing, re-writing, proofreading, filling in forms and checking them twice. The other part of this time I spent asking my older brother and parents about medical school. They gave me lots of valuable information which I was able to work into my essays. Upon returning to school I gave my favorite teachers the recommendation forms that they needed. I also sat down and talked to each one about just how much I wanted to be a doctor and the reasons why. I also explained just how difficult it was going to be for me to get into a the direct medical programs in both the US and Ireland. My teachers saw the passion I had for medicine and assured me that they would give me good recommendations. I sent out my application to the Royal College of Surgeons and didn’t hear anything for over a month.

One day as I was checking my e-mail for the daily letter from my parents I saw an e-mail from the Royal College of Surgeons. I opened up the e-mail and saw that the RCSI wanted to interview me in Boston which was just a couple of hours away from my school.I immediately called my parents and my older brother to tell them the news. They gave me more advice about what to do and how to prepare for the interview. I received a list of possible questions from my dad which I added onto the list my brother gave me to expect on the day of the interview. I filled in answers to these questions and printed them out. I kept a copy of this sheet by my bedside and every night I read over the questions and the answers. The answers were genuine and honest so they were easy to remember.

The day of the interview rolled around and one of my teachers drove me into Boston where the interview was going to take place. I was extremely nervous but remembered the comforting words of my family. I was called into a board room with a long table and a some plush leather swiveling chairs. I was told to take a seat by the director of admissions, and across the table sat both a professor from the college and dean of the college. The professor was a plump cheerful fellow and I had an easy time talking to him. The Dean was a much more serious character and wrote notes throughout the interview. I was questioned about my essay a great deal, and why I wanted to be a doctor. I kept my cool and answered his questions earnestly and confidently. The Dean interjected a couple of times and his unhappy demeanor made me nervous. I left the interview feeling that I had done everything to best of my ability, but was scared that dean had something against me and that I wouldn’t be admitted to the college. I was told that I would find out if I was accepted in about three weeks. During the day I thought about the college, and in the night I dreamed about the college. I hoped so much that I would be accepted.

One snowy day as flakes floated indifferently past my third floor window, my telephone rang. (Ring ring.Ring ring) It was a double ring so I knew it wasn’t just one of my friends calling. I checked the date and it was the 28th of February, only nineteen days had passed since my interview. I picked up the phone and heard an Irish accent on the line. I held my breath as I waited for the result. "Congratulations Sir, you have just been accepted into the Royal College of Surgeons." the voice said.

I breathed a sigh of relief and thanked the gentleman on the phone and hung up the phone. I jumped for joy and shouted because I couldn’t contain my happiness. I called my family and excitedly told them what had happened and they were thoroughly pleased. My friends ran into my room because they heard all the noise and soon joined in the celebrations. That evening the my friends and I went out to eat, even though it was a week night. As I finished eating my mint chocolate chip ice-cream, I breathed a sigh of relief, and was happy that all my hard work had paid off.

Paul Cheriyan is a senior at the Deerfield Academy in MA. He has won medals at the Junior Olympics for Swimming.

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