This is my rough draft for my common app essay. I would really, really appreciate any constructive criticism or advice on the essay.
Evaluate a significant experience, achievement, risk you have taken, or ethical dilemma you have faced and its impact on you.
The parked ambulances, the blue striped patient gowns, the squeaky wheel chairs all seemed very familiar. I was once again standing face to face with my nemesis--the hospital. Palm sweating, heart racing, stomach weak; I was afraid. Nervously, I grasped my mom's hand and entered the Emergency room in Los Angeles.
While waiting with my mom to meet the doctor, I recalled the experience I had at a hospital in South Korea. At the age of seven, I was seized by the arm and forcefully carried to the examining room where five doctors and nurses were waiting for me to perform an upper gastrointestinal endoscopy. I was frightened, almost petrified, but the operating nurse did not seem to care. She inserted an intravenous needle in my veins and gave me a sedative. My sight and hearing began to fade, but the shot failed to put me to sleep. So, I was restrained--my arms and legs were tied down to the table, binding me like an animal. The doctors grabbed my head and pulled my hair, subjecting me fully to their will. Then, I was gripped by the most unbearably painful and violated feeling as a thick tube was shoved down my throat into the pit of my stomach. My breath became shallow and the grip of the arms holding me down only increased. Tears formed in the corner of my eyes and streamed down my face. I tried to scream for help. No one responded.
After that experience, I vowed to never put foot inside a hospital ever again. But my determination was short lived when I suddenly became violently ill in my ninth grade summer. What started off as mild stomach cramps in the morning turned into excruciating pain. So here I was again, inside a hospital, the Children's Hospital in Los Angeles, where I was diagnosed with an appendix infection, requiring surgery. Familiar smells, familiar noises, and familiar sights brought back the painful memory that had been slowly fading from my mind until then. The same feeling of dread engulfed me as I worked to come up with potential ways to escape. But my efforts were completely unnecessary. The staff at CHLA carefully explained the procedures of each examination beforehand and assured me of my safety. They fully respected my request for preparation time and patiently waited for me to regain my full sense of stability and feel at ease about the operation. And until the day I was discharged, they watched over me with tender care, shattering my previous belief that doctors wholly ignore the well-being and comfort of their patients in pursuit of their own desires.
The visit to CHLA changed my outlook on the medical profession and made me want to become a doctor myself. I want to live my life giving back to patients the same level of professionalism and care I was treated with. To have a better sense of working at the medical field, I started volunteering at local hospitals, where I was able to interact with healthcare professionals and patients. And for me what was most meaningful was a simple "thank you" from the patients as I escorted them to their cars. To know that I had helped them in some small way was what I truly cherished.
I know that my path to becoming a doctor will be extremely long, difficult and competitive, but as long as I have the heart constantly wanting to help people, I will someday make my dream come true.